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Dr Prue Francis



Lecturer in Science Professional Practice


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Life & Env. Sciences


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

+61 3 556 33026


Prue is a Lecturer in Science Professional Practice and the Course Director of the Bachelor of Marine Science where she teaches employability and marine science units for the various science degrees offered at Deakin University. 

A passionate educator, Prue has over 10 years' experience as a STEM educator, having taught a host of units across all learning levels and at multiple educational institutions across Australia.  Notably, and before joining Deakin, Prue was the Education Coordinator at Reef HQ Aquarium; the national education centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Prue's research interests are ocean literacy and marine education where she heads the DeakinSeaEd research group. Prue also has an interest in seaweed biology and ecology and more recently, seaweed cultivation.

Read more on Prue's profile

Career highlights

2021 Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

2020 Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment Teaching and Learning Award

2017 School of Life and Environmental Sciences Teaching Award for Excellence in Learning

2016 School of Life and Environmental Sciences Teaching Award for Excellence in Learning

Research interests

Improving ocean literacy in education

Seaweed cultivation techniques

Enhancing employability outcomes in Higher Education


Deakin Marine, Centre for Marine, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences

DeakinSeaweed Research Group

Units taught


SLE107 Marine Environments 

SLE108 Ocean Processes

SLE345 Oceanography

SLE301 Professional Practice 

SLE390 Professional Practice in Bioscience 


SLE265 Marine Botany

SLE244 Marine Ecology

Knowledge areas

Marine education

STEM education


Seaweed biology and ecology

Media appearances


Filter by


Riding the COVID-19 wave: Online learning activities for a field based marine science unit

Prudence Francis

(2021), pp. 393-405, COVID-19 and Education: Learning and Teaching in a Pandemic-Constrained Environment, Santa Rosa, Calif., B1

book chapter

Reading over and under the waves: a study of ocean picture books for children

Prue Francis, Paul Venzo, Alecia Bellgrove

(2021), pp. 1-20, Australian journal of environmental education, Cambridge, Eng., C1

journal article

Educate to keep it great: The long-term successes of a virtual Great Barrier Reef education program

P Francis, J Spencer, C McGrogan

(2020), Vol. 3, Journal of STEM Outreach, Nashville, Tenn., C1

journal article

Stewards of Swan Bay: Curriculum diversity in place-based environmental science education

Julianne Lynch, Nicole Sadler, Prudence Francis, Ty Matthews, Julie Mondon, Alecia Bellgrove

(2020), pp. 1-10, AERA 2020 : The power and possibilities for the public good: When researchers and organizational stakeholders collaborate : Proceedings of the 2020 American Educational Research Association Meeting, Online from San Francisco, California, E1


Restoring rocky intertidal communities: lessons from a benthic macroalgal ecosystem engineer

A Bellgrove, P McKenzie, H Cameron, J Pocklington

(2017), Vol. 117, pp. 17-27, Marine pollution bulletin, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Restoration of the habitat-forming fucoid alga Hormosira banksii at effluent-affected sites: Competitive exclusion by coralline turfs

A Bellgrove, P McKenzie, J McKenzie, B Sfiligoj

(2010), Vol. 419, pp. 47-56, Marine Ecology Progress Series, C1

journal article

Dislodgment and attachment strength of the intertidal macroalga Hormosira banksii (Fucales, Phaeophyceae)

P McKenzie, A Bellgrove

(2009), Vol. 48, pp. 335-343, Phycologia, C1

journal article

Dispersal of Hormosira banksii (Phaeophyceae) via detached fragments: Reproductive viability and longevity

P McKenzie, A Bellgrove

(2008), Vol. 44, pp. 1108-1115, Journal of Phycology, C1

journal article

No outbreeding depression at a regional scale for a habitat-forming intertidal alga with limited dispersal

P McKenzie, A Bellgrove

(2006), Vol. 57, pp. 655-663, Marine and Freshwater Research, C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Inspiring Young Marine Science Experts - Stewards of Swan Bay

Ms Nicole Sadler, Dr Alecia Bellgrove, A/Prof Julianne Lynch, Dr Ty Matthews, Dr Prue Francis, A/Prof Julie Mondon

  • 2019: $13,356
  • 2018: $18,115

Learning from Communities: Indigenous uses of seaweeds in Australasia

Dr Alecia Bellgrove, Ms Zoe Ellen Brittain, Dr Prue Francis, Prof David Jones

  • 2021: $5,000
  • 2020: $5,000

Industry and Other Funding

DeakinSeaEd: marine education resources for children

Dr Prue Francis, Dr Alecia Bellgrove, Dr Paul Venzo

  • 2019: $10,000

Raising awareness of the Australia's Great Southern Reef in primary schools using children¿s literature through a professional development program for teachers.

Miss Catia Jose Abreu De Freitas, Dr Prue Francis, Dr Alecia Bellgrove, Dr Paul Venzo

  • 2021: $4,015


No completed student supervisions to report