Dr Lesley Morrell

Dr Lesley Morrell

Associate Dean for Education (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Department of Biological and Marine Sciences

Qualifications

  • BSc (University of East Anglia)
  • PhD (University of Glasgow)

Summary

I am Associate Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Science and Engineering and a Reader in the Department of Biological and Marine Sciences. My disciplinary research is in behavioural ecology, especially how animals perceive and respond to their environments, why they live in groups, and how they respond to predators. In my teaching, I am passionate about supporting students in their development into scientists, and in the acquisition of skills and competencies that support critical and independent thinking. I am an AdvanceHE National Teaching Fellow (2020) and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2016).

www.themorrelllab.wordpress.com

Undergraduate

I am currently Associate Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and was previously Director of Studies for the Department of Biological and Marine Sciences.

My recent teaching includes contributions to the following modules:

- Structured Research Project (IUCN Red Listing) (level 6)

- Independent Research Project (level 6)

- Professional & Research Skills for Biologists (level 5)

- Extinction (level 6)

- Behavioural Ecology (level 5)

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Journal Article

Why do some students opt out of fieldwork? Using expectancy-value theory to explore the hidden voices of non-participants

Peasland, E. L., Henri, D. C., Morrell, L. J., & Scott, G. W. (in press). Why do some students opt out of fieldwork? Using expectancy-value theory to explore the hidden voices of non-participants. International journal of science education, 1-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2021.1923080

Sex differences in laterality are associated with reproduction in threespine stickleback

McLean, S., & Morrell, L. J. (2021). Sex differences in laterality are associated with reproduction in threespine stickleback. The American naturalist, 197(6), 708-718. https://doi.org/10.1086/714138

Consistency in the strength of laterality in male, but not female, guppies across different behavioural contexts

McLean, S., & Morrell, L. J. (2020). Consistency in the strength of laterality in male, but not female, guppies across different behavioural contexts. Biology Letters, 16(5), https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0870

The influence of fieldwork design on student perceptions of skills development during field courses

Peasland, E. L., Henri, D. C., Morrell, L. J., & Scott, G. W. (2019). The influence of fieldwork design on student perceptions of skills development during field courses. International journal of science education, 41(17), 2369-2388. https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2019.1679906

Computerized stimuli for studying oddity effects

Dobbinson, K. E., Morrell, L. J., & Skarratt, P. A. (2020). Computerized stimuli for studying oddity effects. Behavioral ecology, 31(1), 176-183. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arz174

Research interests

My research investigates how animals perceive and respond to their environments, particularly in the context of social behaviour and environmental change. My group studies how animals interact with one another and their environment, and how the environment affects their behaviour. I am also interested in how students learn, and in evaluating the effectiveness of learning and teaching strategies.

Current research themes include:

- The evolution of parental care, particularly the relationship between laterality (side biases in behaviour) and parental care in fish.

- The effectiveness and value of feedback in student learning, the development of student autonomy, and the value of, and barriers to participation in fieldwork.

- Predator-prey interactions and the evolution of animal aggregation in response to predators, conspecifics and the distribution of resources.

- The influence of experience and environmental change on behaviour, particularly in relation to the effects of increasing water turbidity on the behaviour of fishes.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome applications for PhD or MSc by Thesis study in all areas of my research, particularly those relating to bioscience pedagogy, the evolution of social and anti-predator behaviour, the impact of environmental change on the behaviour of fishes, and the way animals perceive their environments. I am able to supervise both theoretical and empirical projects (or projects that combine the two) and am willing to support applications from students wishing to access their own funding.

Current PhD students:

S. McLean: Laterality and parental care in fish

Current MSc by Research Students:

B. Ellerby: Repeatability of laterality in guppies

E. Howard: Behavioural mimicry in hoverflies

Completed PhDs:

E. Peasland: Maximising the benefits of environmental fieldwork for a diverse student body (University of Hull, 2021)

K. Dobbinson: The oddity effect: Applying principles from psychology to and ecological question (University of Hull, 2020)

H. Kimbell: Behavioural flexibility and environmental change (University of Hull, 2015)

Á. Johannesen: Aquatic predator-prey interactions (University of Leeds, 2013)

G. Rodgers: The role of colour and oddity in fish behaviour (University of Leeds, 2011)

B. Chapman: Early experience and plasticity in guppies (University of Leeds, 2009)

Completed MSc by Thesis:

L. Rothery: Bird behaviour at birdfeeders (University of Hull, 2015)

K. Dobbinson: Confusion effects in turbid environments (University of Hull, 2015)

Membership/Fellowship of professional body

National Teaching Fellow

2020

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE)

2016

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2014

Other

Chartered Science Teacher

2016 - 2017

Finalist: Royal Society of Biology Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year

2016