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About me

I am a Lecturer in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Westminster where I serve as the Course Leader of the Foundation Year in Life Sciences programme.

I am a widening participation educator with expertise in initiating, leading and teaching successful Foundation year programmes in the Biosciences. I am a part of the Biological Sciences Course team, facilitating teaching and learning activities for undergraduate and postgraduate students in Microbiology, Biotechnology & Sustainable Development.

Amara completed her undergraduate degree in Microbiology with first class honours and holds a PhD in Microbiology.  Her research interests focus on the role of microorganisms in food security, biotechnology and safety issues. She is available for consultancy work in these areas. 

Teaching

I accessed HE as a so called 'non-traditional student' and have experienced the truly transformational opportunities intentional Higher education has to offer. My teaching philosophy focuses on building learning environments that develop engaged, self-aware and confident learners.

I lead a Foundation Year module, Bioscience in Action which is an employability module focusing on laboratory, maths and transferable skills. I also teach Chemistry on the programme.

In addition, I teach on other modules on our undergraduate Biological Sciences programme including,

Contemporary Global Issues (Level 5)

Exploring the Microbial World (Level 5)

Applied Biotechnology (Level 6)

I am responsible for supervising undergraduate and postgraduate (MSc and PhD) research projects.

Research

My research interests focus on the role of microorganisms in food security, biotechnology and safety. Microorganisms interact with food in interesting and complex ways as producers, spoilers and agents of disease. Achieving food security for all (Sustainable Development Goal 2) requires improving availability, access and utilisation of food products and microorganisms have important roles in all three activities. 

I am particularly interested in the microbiology of indigenous fermented foods and the role beneficial microbes play in producing local, inexpensive, safe, nutritious products.   

Current research projects include:

1. Investigating antimicrobial resistance in the food chain.

2. Developing multifunctional starter cultures for improving the quality and safety of indigenous fermented food products.

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.