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Position: Associate Professor
Faculty: Science and Technology
School: Life and Environmental Sciences
Discipline: Ecology, Environmental Science
Phone: +61 3 925 17609
Associate Professor Andrew Bennett's role in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences spans the university experience, from teaching first-year undergraduates through to supervision of PhD students. Andrew joined Deakin as a lecturer in 1998 after working for 12 years as a wildlife research scientist with the Victorian Government.
Passionate about the science of ecology, Australian wildlife and landscape, Andrew shares his enthusiasm with students and takes pleasure in seeing them light up with appreciation of new insights and understanding. He is constantly looking for ways to catch students' interest with the aim of motivating them to question, evaluate and identify gaps in knowledge so that they are inspired and equipped to extend their university learning into a lifelong process of learning. For Andrew, learning and scholarship are entwined. His goal in teaching is for students to not only gain new knowledge, but understand it so that they can put that knowledge into context and use it to make sense of the world around them.
Andrew sees two-way interaction as essential to quality teaching. He particularly enjoys face-to-face teaching and the scope this gives for discussion, debate and development of an individual relationship with students. He takes a variety of approaches to cater for students' diverse learning styles. Andrew uses experiential learning so that students feel involved, learn concepts through their own activity and experience, and can identify with ideas discussed. In lectures, he uses practical examples, case studies and many photographs to make core material interesting and relevant. Practical course components such as field trips enhance student learning by stimulating interest and new perspectives.
In all his teaching - undergraduate and postgraduate - Andrew aims to create an environment in which students achieve the best that they can through provision of appropriate feedback and an expectation of quality. He seeks better ways to teach and supervise, through self-evaluation, student evaluation, and by learning from the experience of other teachers and excellent communicators.
An experienced supervisor and, for some years, Higher Degrees by Research Coordinator for the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Andrew has built a research group around Landscape Ecology and fostered a strong research ethos and culture of accomplishment and achievement. He maintains contact with many former research students.
Andrew is also taking a leadership role in the teaching and learning related activities: