Personal profile


Debra is a keen enthusiast of science and mathematics education having published in both fields. As part of STEM these subjects along with technology and the context of engineering encourage learners to think about and explore their world through a different lens, it helps them to develop a deeper understanding of the interactions and complexities of that world. Questioning, challenging, risk-taking and not accepting the obvious are ways of working that promote the development of new knowledge and ideas! 

Over the years Debra has collaborated with a number of colleagues in other universities and organisations. In earlier positions as inaugural Deputy Director for the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century she supported decision-making in science and mathematics education by policy makers, educational leaders, industry and other stakeholders. While in this position Debra coordinated a number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects (research and consultancies) involving collaborations with government departments and various types of industry in South Astralia. This work built upon previous experiences as Deputy Director for the National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR) located at the University of New England. In this position she was able to champion issues for rural and regional Australia while teaching in a number of science units.

Debra is an experienced science-education researcher with a range of research interests developed as a consequence of these broad and valuable opportunities. She reviews papers for two international science education journals along with key national and international conferences.

Supervision interests

  • STEM policy and education
  • assessment and teachers practices
  • electronic assessment in science
  • rural education
  • female participation in science and mathematics education
  • enhancing participation rates of students from low SES backgrounds in science and mathematics education

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or