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Dr. Rebecca O'Mahony

Title:

Lecturer in Molecular Biology

School/ Department:

School of Science & Computing - Dept of Science

Telephone:

+353 0 51302626

Room Name/ Num:

314 1969 - Main Building

Campus:

Main Campus

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My Biography

Dr. Rebecca O' Mahony obtained her primary degree in Applied Biology with Quality Management from Waterford Institute of Technology where she also carried out her PhD. studies on molecular identification and structural analysis of nitrile degrading Rhodococcus spp. Rebecca completed a postdoctoral position at the Centre for Food Safety, University College Dublin, Ireland. Rebecca was granted a Newman Scholarship award from UCD which allowed her to pursue her research interests in molecular surveillance of multi drug resistant (MDR) food borne pathogens. Rebecca obtained a MSc. in Food Safety from UCD during this period. In 2006 Rebecca was appointed a lecturership position at Waterford Institute of Technology in molecular biology and bioanalysis. She continues her research in food borne pathogens and has recently applied her molecular biology expertise into the area of sport science. Rebecca is keenly interested in teaching and learning with particular focus on e-learning methods to promote student engagement and active learning. Rebecca is an current member of the teaching and learning sub-committee of Academic Council.

Research

Whilst Rebecca's research interests are mainly associated with MDR food borne pathogens she has been involved in several research projects both within School of Science and more recently with the School of Health Science within the Institute.

2014: IOTI postgraduate scholarship initiative: Comparative effects of prolonged continuous aerobic exercise and high intensity interval exercise on circulating angiogenic cells and microRNA. Role: Co-supervisor.

2011: Innovation partnership programme: Application of novel-antimicrobial compounds to reduce microbial contamination in animal feeds.Role: PI

2007-2013 Ireland Wales Interreg 4A WINSS: Role:Team member – development of e-learning modules.

2013-2014 MICROPRINT. Selective separation and electronic detection of micro-organisms using synthetic polymer foot printing. Role: microbiology advisor.

2008: Strand III Application: “Unlocking the Bioactive Potential of Seaweeds: Novel Animal Health Applications” – Molecular Biology Research team member. Award sought € 400,000.

2006: Department of Agriculture and Food, Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) Grant. “The Prevalence and characterization of Listeria spp. isolated primarily from foods of animal origin in Ireland”. Award €263,741: Role: Principal Supervisor.

2004: Newman Scholarship. “Antibiotic resistance and molecular typing of Salmonella”. Award €90,000.

Teaching

Dr. O' Mahonys current duties involve lecturing accross 7 different undergraduate programmes from first years to fourth years. Rebecca teaches on the following modules: Introductory Biology, Cell Biology & Biochemistry, Microbial Biotechnology & Genetics, Bioanalysis, Molecular Biology & Medicine, Food shelf Life Control and Epidiemology and Public Health. She is programme leader of the BSc (Hons) in Applied Biology with Quality Management.

Promoting excellence in teaching and learning is a core value that Rebecca incorporates into her classroom environment. Promoting active student engagement in particular with first years students is of particular interest to Rebecca. In recent years Rebecca has invested time into redesigning teaching and assessment methods for delivery to large class sizes (approx.150). Online examinations rather than traditional script examinations have been designed and implemented accross first year biology modules.

Rebeccas pedagogical approach to teaching and learning is multimodal and she implements blended learning into her modules. Some of Rebecca's inspiration to create exellence in teaching and learning orginates from the following experts in their fields; Vygotskys social constructivist approach, Gilly Salmons 5 stage e-learning model, Rogoff community of learners model, Garrison & Vaughan theory on the significance in creating an educational experience within the classroom.

As part of her CPD Rebecca has completed modules in Practical Pedagogy (5 credits) and Blended learning (10 credits) both at level 9 award stage.

Professional

Having qualified with a BSc. in Applied Biology and Quality Managment Rebecca was employed as a QA officer at Antigen pharmaceuticals, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. She worked for a short time at Ivax Pharmaceuticals, Waterford Industrial Estate, Waterford, Ireland as a QC analyst.