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What I teach

I've taught marine biology and oceanography for more than twenty years, and I'm a Senior Fellow of the UK's Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). I currently teach a course in Deep-Sea Ecology at the University of Southampton, where I have received Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Teaching and for Postgraduate Training.

Exceptional standard of lecturing

Your teaching methods and clarity in your explanations I thought were excellent

Student feedback comments, Masters marine ecology course

In 2006 I co-founded SciConnect Ltd, a capacity-building company that has trained more than 15,000 scientists in communication skills to share their work with wider audiences. I have worked as a Director of the company as it has developed training programmes in science writing, oral presentation, media skills, and online engagement for clients including research institutions, government agencies, NGOs and companies across the UK and in Europe.

It has been the best and most useful personal training course that I have attended to date

I got a presentation award in a national meeting and I strongly believe that the skills that I gained from this workshop helped a lot for this result

I thought I was a good communicator, however, this course has opened my eyes to new techniques

Participant feedback comments, science communication training

In digital and online education, I published early research on student use of lecture capture resources, and led the development of a free Massive Open Online Course (a 'MOOC') about 'Exploring Our Ocean' subsequently taken up by more than 60,000 people from 180+ countries and 'Highly Commended' in The Ocean Awards.

I have learnt so much and been challenged to take the future of our oceans far more seriously than I ever did before

Dr Copley is so enthusiastic and it is contagious. Such a great course. Thank you so much for opening not only my eyes but my mind as well

Learner feedback comments, Exploring Our Ocean MOOC

Promo for Exploring Our Oceans Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Teaching at University of Southampton

For academic year 2023/24:

Module Lead, Deep-Sea Ecology (Postgraduate Masters & 3rd+4th Year undergraduate students)

By far the most well-organised module I've taken this year, and all-round the most interesting and engaging

Inspiring lecturer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the topic

Best module I've ever taken

Student feedback comments, Deep-Sea Ecology module

Module Co-Lead, Shallow-Water Survey Techniques (field course for 3rd Year students)

Lecturer, MSc Key Skills (postgraduate Masters students)

Lecturer, Introduction to Marine Ecology & Evolution (1st Year students)

Lecturer, Introduction to Functional Marine Biology (1st Year students)

Really interesting to talk to and made the lectures seem effortless, his passion really shone through

Extremely engaging and well explained

Genuinely inspired me

Student feedback comments, 1st Year lectures

Word cloud of all student feedback, 1st Year lectures 2018/19;
size of word represents its frequency in teaching evaluation comments
(from WordClouds.com)

Previous experience at University of Southampton:

Director of Postgraduate Taught programmes in Ocean & Earth Science

Programme Leader, MSc Oceanography degree

Programme Leader, MSc Marine Resource Management degree

Creator & Module Lead, Structure & Dynamics of Marine Communities

Creator & Module Lead, MSc Key Skills

Module Lead, MSc Research Projects

Module Lead, Marine Biology Fieldwork Skills

Module Lead, IT, Communication, Field & Lab Skills

Module Lead, Coastal & Estuarine Oceanography

MicroROV survey during an undergraduate practical class

Tutor, Contempory Topics in Oceanography & Marine Biology

Fieldwork tutor, Applied Oceanography & Fieldwork

Lecturer, Advanced Independent Research Projects

Lecturer, Earth & Ocean System

Lecturer, Formation & Evolution of the Ocean Crust

keynotes & invited talks in education & engagement

NERC Impact Development Programme 2022

NERC Impact Development Programme 2021

National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) Engage Researchers' Academy 2019

European Marine Science Educators Association Conference 2018

Royal Society of Biology Education Awards 2018

Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Masterclass 2016

Royal Society Public Engagement & Outreach Symposium 2016

24th International Conference on College Learning & Teaching 2013

EuroScience Open Forum 2012 (ESOF 2012) - session convenor: Can outreach make you a better scientist?

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