Teaching

Teaching Activities

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), and I contribute to teaching in the following modules:

First Year

  • BL1101 Biology I (6 lectures, 2 practicals, QI game)
  • BL1102 Biology II (1 lecture)

Second Year

  • BL2108 Vertebrate Zoology (1 lecture)
  • BL2109 Applied Molecular Biology (2 lectures, 1 practical)

Junior Honours

  • BL3320 Practical Statistics for Biologists (workshop session)

Senior Honours

  • BL4200/1 Biology SH Research Project (supervisor; interested students click here for more information)
  • BL4200/1 Biology SH Research Project (Writing from the Reader’s Perspective Workshop)
  • PN4299 Neuroscience SH Research Project (supervisor; interested students click here for more information)
  • BL4285 Complex Systems in Animal Behaviour (organiser)

Integrated Masters

  • BL4601 Research Project Development and Methodology (distance learning unit)

Postgraduate

  • SUPA Introductory Biology School (lecture)

Teaching-Related

Other teaching-related activities:

Administration

  • UG Curriculum Officer, School of Biology
  • Year Coordinator, SH Year Biology
  • Pre-Honours Academic Adviser, School of Biology
  • St Andrews iGEM Team, Lead Supervisor 2010-2011, Supervisory Team 2012 & 2018, Lead Supervisor 2019

Teaching Resources

Download material for the StarLogo TNG practical described in presentations below from my Downloads Page

Publications

Biology students building computer simulations using StarLogo TNG
Smith VA, Duncan I (2011) Bioscience Education 18: 6.
1st Year Practicals: Their Role in Developing Future Bioscientists
Adams D, Arkle S, Bevan R, Boachie-Ansah G, Bradshaw T, Cameron G, Campbell A-M, Chamberlain M, Gibson A, Gowers D, Hayes M, Heritage J, Hollingsworth M, Hooper H, Hudson K, Hughes I, Lindsey N, Meskin S, Park J, Podesta T, Rattray J, Scott G, Shearer MC, Smalley H, Smith VA, Smith D, Tierney A, Todd M, Verran J, Wakeford C, Wilbraham J, Wilson J (2008) HEA Centre for Bioscience Report.
The scientific method: teaching the how of science and not just the what
Shearer MC, Smith VA (2007) Centre for Bioscience Bulletin 21: 8.
(Note authorship correction in Centre for Bioscience Bulletin 22: 2)

Presentations

Biology students building computer simulations using StarLogo TNG
Smith VA. Poster. SICSA SEABIS Workshop, Stirling University, 1 May 2013.
Biology students building computer simulations using StarLogo TNG, a graphical programming environment
Smith VA. Oral Presentation and Poster. Effective Learning the Biosciences, HEA Centre for Bioscience, University of Edinburgh, 30 June – 1 July 2011.
Using StarLogo, a graphics-based programming environment, to enable Biology students to build computer simulations
Smith VA. Swapshop Presentation. Workshop on Mathematical Challenges for Biologists, HEA Centre for Bioscience, University of Reading, 16 November 2010.
Inquiry-based learning in a first year biology laboratory class
Smith VA, Shearer MC. Invited Workshop: Developing the next generation of research scientists, HEA Centre for Bioscience, University of Leeds, 7-8 April 2008.

Grants

Bacterial synthesis of antibody fragments stabilized by an isopeptide bond
Smith VA (Supervisor) and St Andrews 2019 iGEM Team. IBioIC iGEM Competition, 2019. Provides supports towards the St Andrews 2019 iGEM Team.

St Andrews 2019 iGEM Team
Smith VA, Czekster C, Gloster T, Hooley C, Ferreira H, Miles P, Mitchell J, Schwarz-Linek U. BBSRC/EPSRC/Wellcome Trust iGEM Scheme, 2019. Provides 50% stipend for 100 student-weeks of St Andrews 2019 iGEM Team members plus additional costs.

iGEM Giant Jamboree 2018 as Judge
Smith VA. CAPOD Professional Development, 2018. Provided support towards my travel to the 2018 iGEM competition as a judge.

St Andrews iGEM 2018 (Multiple)
Smith VA and Team. Various St Andrews (CAPOD, School of Biology Committees), 2018. Provided support towards the St Andrews 2018 iGEM Team and student travel to the iGEM Competition.

Scottish iGEM Meetup
Smith VA. Genetics Socieity, 2018. Provided funding for a Scottish iGEM Meetup to be held at St Andrews University.

St Andrews iGEM 2018
Smith VA, Czekster C, Ferreira H, Mitchell J. SULSA, 2018. Provided support for the St Andrews 2018 iGEM Team.

Bug Squad
Czekster C, Ferreira H, Mitchell J, Smith VA. St Andrews Wellcome Trust ISSF Public Engagement, 2018. Supports public engagement activities of the St Andrews 2018 iGEM Team.

Comparison between iGEM Team participation and summer internships
Wilbourne M (Student Lead), Smith VA, Czekster C (Advisors). St Andrews Enhancement Themes, 2018-2022. Funds St Andrews 2018 iGEM Team and three-year comparative project of iGEM versus summer research internships.
Creating plasmids for First Year Biology using Biobricks
Smith VA (Supervisor), Beattie A, O’Donnell L. St Andrews Undergraduate Research Assistant Scheme, 2017. Provided summer support for two undergraduates to develop teaching resources for First Year Biology in my lab.

Experimental evolution of a synthetic construct in yeast
Smith VA (Supervisor) and Beattie A. St Andrews Undergraduate Research Assistant Scheme, 2015-2016. Provided support for term-time undergraduate project in my lab.

Experimental evolution in yeast
Smith VA (Supervisor) and Beattie A. St Andrews Undergraduate Research Assistant Scheme, 2015. Provided additional summer support for undergraduate project in my lab.

‘Evolving to evolve’: exploring evolutionary ‘priming’ in eukaryotes
Smith VA (Supervisor) and Beattie A. Callum Memorial Scholarship, 2015. Provided summer stipend for undergraduate project in my lab.

St Andrews University iGEM Team 2012
Smith T (Sponsor), Smith VA, Hooley C, Mitchell J, Paracchini S (Advisors). Wellcome Trust iGEM Student Stipend Award, 2012. Funds summer stipends for all nine St Andrews 2012 iGEM Team members.
HEA Bioscience Effective Learning Conference Travel Award
Smith VA. SALTIRE Travel Award, 2011. Provided travel funds to attend and present at HEA Conference.
St Andrews University iGEM Team
Smith VA (Sponsor), Hooley C, Mitchell J, Shearer MC (Advisors). Wellcome Trust iGEM Student Stipend Award, 2011. Funds summer stipends for all five elligible St Andrews 2011 iGEM Team members.
St Andrews iGEM Team Funding
Smith VA, Hooley C, Mitchell J, Musolesi M, Shearer MC. SULSA Systems Biology iGEM Team Funding, 2011. Provided funding for St Andrews 2011 iGEM Team.
HEA Bioscience Mathematical Challenges for Biologists Meeting Travel Award
Smith VA. Academy Scotland Travel Award, 2010. Provided travel funds to attend and present at HEA Workshop.
A dynamic model of South American angiosperm biogeography during the early Cretaceous period
Smith VA, Milne R (Supervisors) and Latysheva N. SULSA Systems Biology Undergraduate Summer Studentship, 2010. Provided summer stipend and research funds for undergraduate project collaborative with R Milne at Edinburgh.
St Andrews iGEM Team Funding
Smith VA, Mitchell J, Hooley C. SULSA Systems Biology iGEM Team Funding, 2010. Provided further funding for St Andrews 2010 iGEM Team.
The SAINTS: Saint Andrews iGEM Neutralizes Threatening Staphylococcus
Smith VA (Sponsor), Hooley C, Mendivil O, Mitchell J, Verleyen W (Advisors). Wellcome Trust iGEM Student Stipend Award, 2010. Funds summer stipends for all seven elligible St Andrews 2010 iGEM Team members.
A St Andrews iGEM Team: Enhancing Student Research, Employability and Leadership Through Involvement in an International Synthetic Biology Competition
Smith VA, Bowles J, Mitchell J, Hooley C. SATIRE FILTA Award, 2009-2010. Provided seed money for St Andrews’ first iGEM Team.
Enhancing an inquiry-based laboratory practical: student creation of a new teaching strain of yeast
Smith VA. SALTIRE SELF Award, 2008-2009. Funded a SH Research Project to enhance the laboratory pratical I run in BL1201 Molecular Biology.
Characterisation of single cell variation in protein expression of stress induced proteins in yeast
Smith VA (Supervisor) and Müller C. Nuffield Summer Bursary, 2007. Provided summer stipend for undergraduate project in my lab.
Inquiry-based learning in a first year biology laboratory class: engaging students in the process of science
Shearer MC, Smith VA. SALTIRE SELF Award, 2007. Funded creation of the laboratory practical I run in BL1201 Molecular Biology (now in BL1101 Biology I).