School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

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Rebecca Sumner

Teaching Associate, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

I conducted my Ph.D within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science with Dr Richard Lea. Here, my research focused on investigating the effect of environmental chemicals on male reproductive health, and the use of the canine as a sentinel model for this research. During my PhD I demonstrated the perturbing impacts of environmental chemical mixtures and how certain chemicals might be more deleterious in combination. Following my PhD i transitioned into postdoctoral research at the Royal Veterinary College looking at the co-regulation of a growth factor, Activin A, and the transcription factor FOXL2, within granulosa cells.

Throughout my PhD and postdoctoral appointment I developed a keen passion for teaching and learning. Throughout this time i was able to undertake demonstrating of practical sessions, primarily utilising reproductive cadaver material, deliver a few biological focussed seminars and support project students within the lab. Given this passion, I relocated to Hartpury University where i took up a full time teaching lectureship.

Within my lectureship, I module led at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and I was programme manager for the BSc in Equine Science with Therapy programme. I thoroughly enjoy supervision aspects for dissertations at all levels and I wished to continue this during my lectureship. I was successful in obtaining my first funded PhD student looking into equine reproductive health and sub-fertility, the work planned is very exciting and shall continue to add to the knowledge of environmental contamination and reproduction in what is a changing world! It is a great pleasure of mine to assist and watch students develop their own interests within science. I am always seeking ways to advance my teaching qualifications and experience. To develop this, I have just completed my postgraduate certificate in Academic Practice to obtain my teaching qualification and become Fellow of the HEA. I have strong interests in the use of digital technologies for education and also like to advance this research.

Currently I am a Teaching Associate in Veterinary Basic Sciences within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham. I thoroughly look forward to working with the vets of the future, one of the key elements of promoting motivation within students is lecturer enthusiasm and so i look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for my topic and teaching with you. Outside of my academic life I thoroughly enjoy everything to do with baking. Additionally, i have a lot of energy and so to complement my love of eating cake i try to keep active where i can!

Teaching Summary

Within my teaching i am particularly passionate about how we can use digital learning technologies to support and enhance the learning experience of students. I encourage all students to participate… read more

Research Summary

My current research is two fold. From a scientific research perspective i am focussing on the thoroughbred breeding stallion and investigating the impact of environmental chemicals on this species.… read more

Recent Publications

Within my teaching i am particularly passionate about how we can use digital learning technologies to support and enhance the learning experience of students. I encourage all students to participate within scheduled sessions and seek to utilise anonymous approaches to promote inclusivity within my teaching style!

My primary role within the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science is to teach across years 1 - 3 of the veterinary curriculum, focussing on immunology, reproductive physiology and clinical relevance.

I module lead the year 3 module "Fundmentals of Clinical Practice", which utilises a blended learning pedagogy. I also lead the embedded module 'immunology' and our clinical relevance across years 1-3. I am one of our Senior Tutors for Welfare, being Mental Health First Aid trained, and support all students within the school.

Current Research

My current research is two fold. From a scientific research perspective i am focussing on the thoroughbred breeding stallion and investigating the impact of environmental chemicals on this species. For this work i have a PhD student initiating this research and have support from the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

Secondary to my scientific research, i seek to advance pedagogic research around digital learning technology. I am interested in how we can best use the array of technologies available within the digital era to promote motivation and engagement within students. I am always looking for ways to advance this work so please do contact me if you are interested in investigating this area.

I also sit on the council for "Society for Reproduction and Fertility", specialising in the Grants and Awards divison.

Past Research

Previous to transitioning into equine research, my topic of focus for my PhD was investigating the use of the canine as a sentinel model for human exposure to environmental chemicals alongside Dr Richard Lea. The main chemicals investigated within this research were diethylhexyl phthalate and a polychlorinated biphenyl ester, congener 153. Here we investigated the impact of environmentally relevant levels of chemical mixtures on different aspects of male reproductive health, from sperm quality to testicular pathologies.

In addition, previous post doctoral work has investigated the molecular drivers behind primary ovarian insufficiency in women, from the potential co-regulation of Activin A and FOXL2.

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0086-2981

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415
email: veterinary-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk