About Elisa Bone

I am a lecturer within the department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, New York. I completed my PhD in late 2006 with Mick Keough in the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne, where I worked on colonial integration and colony form in encrusting bryozoans.After a stint in production editing at CSIRO Publishing, I moved to the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia as an Associate Lecturer. I worked briefly at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Hamilton, New Zealand, before moving to New York. I teach a broad range of courses from introductory biology through to graduate-level courses in coastal ecology, experimental design and invasion ecology. My research interests include the modes of communication between colony members in modular organisms such as sessile colonial invertebrates, dynamics of coastal invasions and responses of coastal fauna to environmental change

New teaching research in press

A new paper by myself and Rob Reid, examining a range of social and academic factors that might influence how students learn in the first year, entitled ‘First course at university: Assessing the impact of student age, nationality and learning style’ will be out shortly in the International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education

In our paper, we discuss how the majority of students sampled demonstrated evidence that they were ‘surface’ or ‘reproducing’ learners. This style of learning is generally characterized by factual recall and memorization, with less emphasis on conceptual understanding and integration of material across course themes. This latter, ‘deep’ approach is typically a favored pedagogical outcome, but in our first-year biology course, offered no benefits to students in terms of their academic achievement and grades. Designing curricula to encourage more comprehensive styles of learning, while at the same time ensuring students learn enough of the factual content they will need in future studies, is a continuing challenge for instructors of these broad introductory courses.