Anatomy and Physiology

Dr Nicolette Birbara

BMedSc, BSc(Hons), PhD, GCLTHE

Lecturer in Anatomy
Port Macquarie
Building 801 Level 3 South Wing

Nicolette gained most of her qualifications at UNSW Sydney where she was also a casual anatomy tutor in the School of Medical Sciences, Department of Anatomy for five years. She completed a Bachelor of Medical Science with Distinction, majoring in Anatomy, in 2015.  She completed her Honours degree in 2016, achieving First Class and receiving the University Medal in Anatomy.  She completed her PhD in 2020, for which her thesis was placed in the top 10% of theses examined by both of her examiners and she received a Dean’s Award for Outstanding PhD Theses.  She also completed a Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at CSU in 2022.

Nicolette began her role at CSU as a Lecturer in Biomedical Science (Anatomy) at the beginning of 2021.  She is also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Nicolette’s main areas of teaching include functional and musculoskeletal anatomy, head and neck anatomy and visceral anatomy.

Nicolette taught gross anatomy and histology to a range of students at UNSW Sydney including science, medical science, exercise physiology, optometry and medical students at all levels.  At CSU she teaches gross anatomy and surface anatomy to first- and second-year physiotherapy and occupational therapy students.

Nicolette has a great passion for anatomy teaching and loves sharing her passion with her students to make their learning experience as fulfilling as possible. She is a firm believer that students should be active in their learning and that her role as an educator is to provide the guidance that will help them to be active learners.  She encourages her students to be hands-on and autonomous, as this creates opportunities for discovery and to develop an appreciation of the discipline of anatomy.

Nicolette’s research background is in anatomy education, specifically in the use of 3D technologies such as virtual reality and 3D printing. These were the topics of her Honours degree and PhD.

Nicolette’s PhD focused on the use of virtual learning resources, specifically using 3D technologies such as virtual reality, for anatomy education.  Prior to this, her Honours degree focused on the use of 3D printing for surgical planning, specifically in the context of mitral valve surgery, and touched briefly on how 3D printed models can be used for educational purposes.  She has published journal articles in both of these areas and has presented her work at several national and international conferences.

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