Dr Dave Hodgson

Senior Fellow SFHEA

Research-inspired learning

Name Dr Dave Hodgson



Associate Professor of Ecology/Director of Education

College College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Active research

Dr Dave Hodgson is the Director of Education for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the Penryn campus; he is also a practicing ecologist and lecturer within Biology and Geography for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. His research is particularly diverse within ecological statistics, as he is involved with many research projects, from the conservation of marine turtles, to human/wildlife conflict in Africa, from studying bacterial systems, to lizards in South America.

“We’re not teachers, we’re lecturers and we’re professors. We are simultaneously learning about the world and then sharing that new understanding with students; it’s the most inspiring way to do it. It means that students aren’t learning from textbooks anymore, they’re actually learning from the people who are at the cutting edge of the scientific disciplines.”

International experience

Within Biosciences, students have the opportunity to go out on field trips to “try to understand how animals and plants work in the real world”. Dave explains how actually going out and observing animals and plants helps engage students much better with their learning rather than simply learning about it in a lecture. Students have visited Kenya, Cyprus, Iceland, Scotland, and the Isles of Scilly. “[Students] come back with a brand new understanding of the way the natural world works… that makes people work together in teams, do independent research projects, learn about the world and learn about how to study the world… the classroom isn’t enough.”

Dave believes that developing students as active researchers during their degrees prepares them for life after university; “we’re providing people with the transferable skills that will allow them to cope wherever they find themselves, in unusual situations where suddenly they need to find an answer to something; that’s the skill that university gives.”

Aim 3: Research-inspired, inquiry-led learning
To extend the opportunities for students to learn in innovative ways through their own research and inquiry

Making an impact through research

"Now, [your research] has to be of value to the world."

International research and experiences

"It's being in the field and seeing it happen, immersing yourself in it..."