Researcher

Dr Rebecca Jane LeBard

Field of Research (FoR)

Biography

Rebecca is a senior lecturer in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences.

Rebecca completed a BSc (hons) and later a PhD at the University of Sydney on the mechanisms for maintaining multi-drug resistance plasmids in Staphylococcus aureus. Following this, she worked on projects investigating plasmid DNA inheritance in Archaea, microbial molecular markers to trace sources of water pollution, and microbiological production of...view more

Rebecca is a senior lecturer in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences.

Rebecca completed a BSc (hons) and later a PhD at the University of Sydney on the mechanisms for maintaining multi-drug resistance plasmids in Staphylococcus aureus. Following this, she worked on projects investigating plasmid DNA inheritance in Archaea, microbial molecular markers to trace sources of water pollution, and microbiological production of secondary metabolites.

Most recently, she completed a MEd (higher education) at UNSW, and holds an education focused role teaching undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Science and the medical program. Rebecca was awarded the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2015, and a citation for contributions to student learning in the Australian University Teaching Awards, 2016, recognising her teaching excellence.

Rebecca's scholarship in learning and teaching focuses on the importance of quantitative skills to STEM students (particularly those in biology). She developed a model of our signature pedagogy in science, and is interested in how students can gain competence and confidence in quantitative skills in their science learning.

She is also interested in helping education focused academics evaluate their teaching practice to demonstrate impact. She obtained $123,000 in funding to lead a community of practice collaboration to develop a series of videos and website on this, resulting in Evaluating Teaching Practice.


My Grants

R LeBard (2019) Quantitative skills in biology. Australian Council of Deans of Science - Teaching and Learning Centre. $1000

R LeBard & A Torda (2018-2019) A support network for evaluation of teaching practices & innovation, ensuring educational excellence. UNSW Education-focused foundation funding. $123,000

Kornfeld, G; Lutze-Mann, L; Polly, P; Wijenayake, G; LeBard R (2016) Integration of real and virtual experiences in undergraduate laboratories. UNSW SEF#4 Learning and Teaching Funding $20,000

LeBard R (2012) Demonstrating the ability of putative partitioning systems from the haloarchaeal model organism Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 to enhance plasmid maintenance. UNSW ECR grant $7,500

LeBard R (2010) UNSW Faculties of Excellence Funding $3,000

Thompson RE; Micolich AP; LeBard RJ (2009) Critical conversations: designing an institutional process to constructively challenge perceptions about academic numeracy of students and staff. UNSW Seed funding for ALTC Learning & Teaching Grant Applications $3,700

LeBard R (2009) UNSW VC Childcare support fund for women researchers $1,000


My Qualifications

BSc (Hons), University of Sydney

PhD, University of Sydney

Grad Cert (university learning and teaching), UNSW

MEd (higher education), UNSW


My Awards

Australian University Teaching Award, Citation for contributions to student learning, 2016

Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, 2015


My Research Activities

My scholarship in learning and teaching focuses on the importance of mathematics to STEM students (particularly those in biology. I developed a model of our signature pedagogy in science, and how mathematics is integral to learning the practice of science. My current work investigates how maths taken in high school and confidence in maths influences success in tertiary biology. This work is significant nationally, as the number of students taking maths is at its lowest levels in fifty years, and as there is predicted to be a shortage of STEM graduates for future jobs. This work will help inform the levels of maths needed to ensure success for students studying STEM courses, and the need for interventions in biology.

I am a molecular microbiologist, completing my PhD at the University of Sydney on the molecular characterisation of mechanisms maintaining multi-drug resistance plasmids in Staphylococcus aureus. In my time at UNSW, I've supervised honours and PhD students in projects investigating how how plasmid DNA is inherited in Archaea, how molecular markers can be used to trace sources of water pollution, and the production of secondary metabolites.


My Research Supervision


Areas of supervision

Past students:

Nikola Markovina (USyd) (Honours, class I, 2016), Mitchell Legeret (Honours, class IIA, 2016), Alper Yasar (PhD, 2015), Adam Austin (Honours, class I, 2015), Narelle Hegarty (CSIRO) - Recipient of the Dean’s Honours Relocation Scholarship - (Honours, class I, 2014), Stella Sheeba (Honours, class IIA, 2013), Tiffany Chen (Honours, class I, 2012), Elizabeth Gorgievski (Honours, class I, 2012).


My Engagement

Vice-president (communication), Australian Society of Microbiology (2017-)

CSIRO Scientists in Schools participant

Author for The Conversation

ABC Catalyst interview 

UNSW leadership positions

Faculty of Science Teaching and Quality Committee (2015-2016)

Program Committee member for the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education planning committee (2014)

Faculty of Science Education Committee, Faculty of Science (2013-2014)

Phase 1 committee, Faculty of Medicine (2013-)

Strategic Priorities in Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Science (2008-2009)


My Teaching

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Location

Room 220D
Biosciences (D26)


Map reference (Google map)

Contact

(+61 2) 9385 2026

Videos

Evaluation through curriculum mapping
Evaluating undergraduate research experiences