Dr Ian TibbettsOrganisational Unit: Centre for Marine Studies

Dr Ian Tibbetts has excelled in the development of curricula and resources within the field of tropical marine biology. His efforts have been an inspiration and model for the highly successful international programs within the Centre for Marine Studies. Ian has developed the University of California Australian Marine Studies program and the Hobart William Smith and Union Colleges’ programs in Upstate New York which have grown into one of the major activities of the Centre.

Ian also developed the Study Abroad subject, Australian Coastal Environments (MARS2005) which provides a learning context for non-science students to discover the marine organisms and ecosystems of Australia. The success of MARS2005 is demonstrated not only by a year-by-year increase in enrolments but also by evidence from his excellent teaching evaluations. Ian is recognised for his impact on the positioning of the University as an internationally recognised centre for excellence in the teaching of marine and coastal studies.

Ian’s charismatic and engaging teaching style combined with exciting material that is well researched, cutting edge and inspiring supports deep learning in his students. He has a profound respect for his students, cares greatly for their educational experience and encourages their career aspirations. As a majority of Ian’s students are studying abroad he has an empathetic approach to mentoring students who have limited access to their family or university’s support services.

His passion and enthusiasm for the study of marine biology is exemplified not only in the classroom but in the field as well where he strives to optimise the quality of the learning experience with enjoyment of Australia’s rich marine environments. Ian’s sense of humour allows for a relaxed learning environment, but he is also able to challenge students’ thoughts and ideas.

Ian’s insatiable curiosity for the unknown is evidenced in his research in which he is a leader in his field. He publishes consistently and organises his students into publication-based research. His ability to achieve his goal of communicating and fostering discussion and debate amongst his students is testimony to his teaching excellence.

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