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Health Sciences staff profiles

Dr Rebecca Bird

PositionTeaching Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsMSci(Keele) PhD(Glasgow) MHEd(Otago)
Research summaryAnatomical Science Education, First Year Experience, Student Success, Educational Technology
  • HUBS 191 & 192 Human Body Systems
  • CELS191 Cell and Molecular Biology
  • ANAT131 Origins of Anatomical Language
  • ANAT 243 Reproductive and Developmental Biology
  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK
  • Ako Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence
  • ASERT (Anatomical Sciences Education Research Team)

Additional details

Rebecca is a Teaching Fellow / Kaiwhakaako in Te Tari Kikokiko / Department of Anatomy, and teaches a wide range of topics in 100- and 200-level papers.

Originally from Wellington, Rebecca holds a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, and recently completed a Master of Higher Education with distinction from Otago. In 2018, Rebecca received both a University of Otago Award for Excellence in Teaching and an Ako Aotearoa National Tertiary Teaching Award for Sustained Excellence.
Sustained Excellence Award video

She is committed to instilling a passion for science in her students and creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment, and is a Kaiāwhina Māori for Anatomy.

Her research interests reflect her learner-centric approach, with focus on student experience and belonging, retention of knowledge, and educational technology. She is a founding member of ASERT (Anatomical Sciences Education Research Team).

Rebecca is also currently on part-time secondment (0.4FTE until the end of 2022) to the Office of Student Success / Te Tari Tuata where she is a Research Fellow / Kairuruku.


Bird, R. J., Wibowo, E., Fitzgerald, R. P., Murray, K., Beres, M. A., & Girling, J. E. (2022). Teaching reproduction, gender and sexuality: Broad, multidisciplinary and nuanced. Sex Education, 22(2), 228-241. doi: 10.1080/14681811.2020.1845643

Daniel, B. K., & Bird, R. (2019). Attention! Student voice: Providing students with digital learning materials before scheduled lectures improves learning experience. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 18(3), 1-9.

McDonald, J., Bird, R. J., Zouaq, A., & Moskal, A. C. M. (2017). Short answers to deep questions: Supporting teachers in large-class settings. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 33(4), 306-319. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12178

Yarwood, S. J., Parnell, E., & Bird, R. J. (2017). The cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase 4D5 (PDE4D5)/receptor for activated C-kinase 1 (RACK1) signalling complex as a sensor of the extracellular nano-environment. Cellular Signaling, 35, 282-289. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2017.01.013

Bird, R. J., & Hurren, B. J. (2016). Anatomical and clinical aspects of Klinefelter's syndrome. Clinical Anatomy, 29(5), 606-619. doi: 10.1002/ca.22695