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Contact Details

+64 3 471 6277
Senior Teaching Fellow
Department of Anatomy
MSci(Keele) PhD(Glasgow) MHEd(Otago)
Research summary
Anatomical sciences education, student transition and success, first year experience
  • HUBS 191 & 192 Human Body Systems
  • CELS191 Cell and Molecular Biology
  • ANAT131 Origins of Anatomical Language
  • ANAT 241 Cells to Systems
  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK
  • Ako Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence


Rebecca's 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) and is interested in all aspects of anatomical education research, along with student motivation and transition.

Rebecca welcomes contact from students or staff interested in this area of research.

Additional details

Rebecca is a Senior Teaching Fellow / Tauira Matua 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.

Rebecca is currently on part-time secondment (0.4FTE until the end of 2024) to Te Tari Tuata / Office of Student Success where she is a Research Fellow / Kairuruku.

She is also the Kaikōkiri (co-ordinator), Division of Health Sciences, Dunedin Campus, for Kōkiri ki Tua (Education Network).


Willoughby, B. R., Flack, N. A. M. S., Bird, R. J., & Woodley, S. J. (2024). Motivation to learn in university science students studying anatomy: A mixed-methods analysis of what drives learning. Anatomical Sciences Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/ase.2416 Journal - Research Article

Young, C. D., Taumoepeau, M. M., Hohmann-Marriott, B. E., Girling, J. E., & Bird, R. J. (2024). Sexual and reproductive health knowledges: A study with Pacific young people enrolled in an Aotearoa New Zealand tertiary institution. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 26(2), 265-283. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2023.2201356 Journal - Research Article

Dolodolotawake, M., Flack, N., & Bird, R. (2022). Pacifica views on providing a safe environment for clinical anatomy research. In M. Anakin, R. Bird, N. Flack, Q. Liu, J. McCallum-Loudeac & T. McLennan (Eds.), Proceedings of the Sciences Education and Health Professions Education Symposium. (pp. 23). Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago. [Abstract] Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Young, C. D., Bird, R. J., Hohmann-Marriott, B. E., Girling, J. E., & Taumoepeau, M. M. (2022). The revitalised Fonofale as a research paradigm: A perspective on Pacific sexuality and reproduction research. Pacific Dynamics, 6(2), 186-201. doi: 10.26021/13507 Journal - Research Article

Flack, N. A. M. S., Frost, K., Aravazhi, S., Macmillan, A., Blyth, P., Woodley, S. J., Nicholson, H. D., Hurren, B. J., & Bird, R. J. (2022). "Thank you for your sacrifice, I will try to make sure your donation wasn't in vain": Undergraduate science students' perceptions on the use of cadaveric material in learning anatomy. Education Sciences, 12, 451. doi: 10.3390/educsci12070451 Journal - Research Article

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