Dr Amanda Callaghan is Teaching and Learning Dean responsible for Special Projects.
Amanda was previously the School Director of Teaching and Learning and School Director of Admissions in the School of Biological Sciences (SBS).
She has a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology and a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on the subject of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes.
Amanda joined the University of Reading in 1990 as a Lecturer in Zoology after spending 16 months in Montpellier, France, as a Royal Society Science Exchange Fellow.
She has an active research group working in the field of freshwater ecology, particularly focussing on urban British mosquitoes.
Amanda is a former Fellow of the CETL-AURS (Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Applied Undergraduate Research Skills), developing new teaching resources and approaches.
In her role as Curator of the SBS-based Cole Museum of Zoology, since 2005, she has been active in developing the collection for teaching and successfully gained national accreditation for the Cole Museum from Arts Council England in 2015.
“My aim in developing the museum has been to engage and enthuse students. Through weekly exposure to the collection they have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of taxonomy and general enthusiasm for zoology. It also offers an extra-curricular platform on which to develop professional skills.”
Amanda is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In her role as Teaching and Learning Dean, she leads on special projects. These include the three-year HEFCE-funded Learning Gain project at Reading and a student engagement project linked to the UK Engagement Survey and National Student Survey results.
“The Learning Gain project links nicely in with the Curriculum Framework project. Our analysis of degree trajectories and workshops with staff has prompted discussions on assessments and degree structure to ensure that overall marks reflect students’ abilities.
“The student engagement project is to answer students’ calls to see responses to their criticism. This is their opportunity to engage directly with UKES and NSS results in discussions with staff to shape their degree whilst they are still studying.”