Position

Associate Head of Faculty (Teaching & Learning)
School of Biological Sciences

Biography

Assoc. Prof. Karen Burke da Silva is the Associate Dean Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Flinders University. Karen has led multiple research programs focused primarily on science education and first year transition. Based in the School of Biological Sciences at Flinders University, she was named Early Career STEM Educator of the Year in Tertiary Teaching for her instrumental role in developing an integrated teaching environment that fosters interaction between teaching and research across multiple STEM areas. Using innovative techniques to stimulate, motivate and improve science literacy of all students, A Prof Burke da Silva has reduced student withdrawal rates and produced highly engaged and enthusiastic students.

Qualifications

Associate Professor Biodiverity and Conservation (2014-present)

Associate Head (Teaching and Learning) Faculty of Science and Engineering, Flinders University (2012 - present)

Director of First Year School of Biological Sciences (2012- present)

Chair, Flinders University College of Distinguished Educators (2011-present)

Flinders University Executive member of HERGA (2011-present)

Senior Lecturer (2011-Education-focused 2012-present)

Online Tutorial Designer, Pearson Higher Education Publishers, Australia (2011)

Associate Dean of School-Teaching and Learning (2010- 2012)

Education Consultant, Graw Hill Publishers, Australia (2009, 2013 and 2014)

Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University (2006-2011)

Honours, awards and grants

Burke da Silva (2014). Science Excellence Awards SA Early Career STEM Educator of the Year - Tertiary Teaching

Luzeckyj, A., Burke da Silva, K, Brinkworth, R., Palmer, E. and King, S. (2013). Office of learning and teaching extension grant. $30,000 for one year.

Rayner, G. and Burke da Silva, K. (2012). Office of Learning and Teaching. First Year Biology Conference: Enhancing Transition through alignment with national Secondary Curricula, $10,000 for one year.

Gardner, M., Burke Da Silva, K., Shokri Bousjein, N. (2012). Identification of the Symbiotic Zooxanthellae Patterns in Sea Anemone Species of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (ANZ Trustees). $4000 for one year.

Burke da Silva, K., Young, J., Hunter, N. (2012). Executive Dean’s Outreach Grant. ASELL is schools: linking Biology high school teachers with first year Biology academics. $7,000 for one year.

Burke da Silva, K. (2011). The Phyllis Primrose Whyte Churchill Fellowship to investigate methods of teaching science at the undergraduate university level. $22,000 for one year.

Burke da Silva, K., Familari, M., Rayner, G. Blanksby, T. (2011) Australian Learning and Teaching Council. Strengthening alignment between secondary and tertiary biology education and enhancing student transitions in the sciences. $218,000 for two years.

Morrison, L., Rudd, D. and Burke da Silva, K. (2011). Executive Dean of Science Grant for Innovation in Teaching and Learning: Introduction and integration of current animal welfare practice and husbandry into undergraduate teaching in the Biological sciences. $8,000 for one year.

Burke da Silva (2011). Flinders Teaching Quality Network Seed Grant $3,000.

Burke da Silva (2010) Flinders Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Topic Coordinator:

Research expertise

  • Animal behaviour
  • Aquaculture
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Ecology
  • Molecular biology
  • Science education

Supervisory interests

  • Clownfish
  • Dogs
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Higher education
  • Marine biology

RHD research supervision

Current

Associate supervisor : Science Education (2) ; Medical Biotechnology (2) ;

Completion

Associate supervisor : Conservation biology and education (1) ;

Publications

  • Smallhorn, M.N., Young, J.E., Hunter, N.C. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2015). Changing the landscape of the science laboratory: A move to inquiry-based learning. In Genetics Learning and Teaching: Challenges and Opportunities. Genetics Society of Australasia. Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Jul 2015.
  • Smallhorn, M.N., Young, J.E., Hunter, N.C. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2015). Creating independent learners through group research projects. In HERGA Conference 2015. Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide: Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide. Brave New World: The Future of Teaching & Learning. Adelaide. Sep 2015.
  • Smallhorn, M.N., Young, J.E., Hunter, N.C. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2015). Inquiry-based learning to improve student engagement in a large first year biology topic. In New Ideas and Emerging Initiatives. Unistars. STARS. Melbourne, Australia. Jul 2015.
  • Smallhorn, M.N., Young, J.E., Burke Da Silva, K. and Hunter, N. (2014). Leave the recipe in the kitchen: redevelopment of laboratories in the Biological Sciences to improve student experience and learning outcomes. In Changing Horizons: Local Learning for Global Impact. www.herga.com.au: Higher Education research Group Adelaide. Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide. Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. Sep 2014, pp. 45-46.
  • Ing, H.R., Smallhorn, M., Young, J., Burke Da Silva, K. and Deller-Evans, K. (2014). Overwhelming Information: using discovery layers to refine for relevance and readability. In THE INTERNATIONAL FIRST YEAR IN HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCE. 17th International First Year in Higher Education Conference. Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Jul 2014.
    [Web Link] [Web Link]
  • Ing, H., Smallhorn, M., Young, J., Burke Da Silva, K. and Deller-Evans, K. (2013). Strengthening the information literacy skills of first year science and engineering students for 21st century learning. In Bricks to Bytes? Adelaide: University of Adelaide. 8th HERGA Conference. University of Adelaide. Sep 2013.
  • Butler, A., Hunter, N.C. and Burke Da Silva, K. (2013). QUIZ NIGHT REVIEW SESSION - A FUN WAY TO INCREASE ENGAGEMENT AND ENHANCE LEARNING IN LARGE CLASSES. In Proceedings of The Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education. Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education 2013. Canberra. Sep 2013, pp. 74-74.
  • Brinkworth, R., Burke Da Silva, K., King, S., Luzeckyj, A., McCann, B. and Palmer, E. (2012). Building Partnerships to Ease Transition and Avoid Attrition: Some Local Findings. In ERGA Conference 2012. Adelaide: Adelaide University. ERGA Conference 2012: Partnerships. Adelaide.
  • Luzeckyj, A., Burke Da Silva, K., Scutter, S., Palmer, E. and Brinkworth, R. (2010). "Don't ask me what I think of you I might not give the answer that you want me to": An exploration of 1st year university students' expectations and experiences from the students' and the teachers' perspectives. In Jason Thomas, ed. First Year in Higher Education: Aspiration - Access - Achievement. Brisbane, QLD: QUT Publications. 13th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference 2010. Adelaide, Australia. Jun 2010.
    [Web Link] [Web Link]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2010). Improve student engagement in the laboratory: An initiative across all Australian universities. 240th ACS National Meeting.
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L., Wood, D.M. and Menz, R.I. (2007). The development of model of teaching focused on engagement and retention in large first year science courses. In Science Teaching and Learning Research Including Threshold Concepts: Proceedings of the Assessment in Science Teaching and Learning Symposium. Assessment in Science Teaching and Learning Symposium. Sydney, NSW. Sep 2007, pp. 2-2.
  • Ramezanpour, M., Burke Da Silva, K.L. and Sanderson, B.J. (2014). Marine bioactive products as anti-cancer agents: effects of sea anemone venom on breast and lung cancer cells. canncer cell & Microenvironment, 1(e29) pp. 14-16.
    [10.1021/np0705716] [10.14800/ccm.29]
  • Menz, R.I. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2008). Inspiring students to study the molecular life sciences. Australian Biochemist, 39(3) pp. 7-9.
    [Web Link]
  • Brinkworth, R., McCann, B., King, S., Burke Da Silva, K., Luzeckyj, A.M., Scutter, S., et al. (2013). Student and staff expectations and experiences: Final report of the project A collaborative multi-faceted approach to address the gaps between student expectation and experience at university.
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2012). Transitions in Biology: A curriculum reference guide for first year biology in Australian universities.
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2011). Advancing Science by Enhancing Laboratory Learning (ASELL)
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L., Fawcett, R.J., Hunter, N.C., Buckley, P., Roberts, M.J., Dent, L.A., et al. (2009). Raising the Profile of Teaching and Learning: Scientists Leading Scientists.
  • Rayner, G., Familari, M., Blanksby, T., Young, J. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2012). Assessing first year biology student practical skills: Benchmarking across the landscape. In R Mortimer, ed. 15th International First Year in Higher Education Conference. Brisbane, QLD: QUT Events. FYHE 2012. Brisbane, QLD. Jun 2012.
    [Web Link]
  • Illingworth, S.L. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2011). Achieving scientific sustainability - A pilot study into the importance of improving first year undergraduate scientific literacy in the biological sciences. In ED Johnson, T Jenkins, G Rayner, MD Sharma, J West & A Yeung, ed. Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education. Sydney, NSW: UniServe Science. The 17th Annual UniServe Science Conference. Melbourne, VIC, pp. 81-88.
    [Web Link]
  • Johnson, E., Maddox, L.M., Quinton, J.S. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2010). Attitudes to assessment in university Science education. In M Devlin, J Nagy & A Lichtenberg, ed. Research and Development in Higher Education: Reshaping Higher Education. Milperra, NSW: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Inc. 33rd HERDSA Annual International Conference. Melbourne, VIC. Jul 2010, pp. 347-357.
    [Web Link]
  • Pyke, S.M., Yeung, A., Kable, S.H., Sharma, M.D., Barrie, S.C., Buntine, M.A., et al. (2010). The Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory (ASELL) Project: The Next Chapter. In M Sharma, ed. Creating ACTIVE Minds in our Science and Mathematics students. Sydney, NSW: UniServe Science. 16th UniServe Science Annual Conference. Sydeny, NSW. Sep 2010, pp. 7-12.
    [Web Link]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. and Auburn, Z.M. (2009). The development of a structured "Peer Assisted Study Program" with required attendance. In First Year in Higher Education Conference 2009. Queensland: QUT. First Year in Higher Education Conference 2009. Townsville, Queensland.
    [Web Link]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L., Auburn, Z.M., Hunter, N.C. and Young, J. (2008). Engaging students and improving learning outcomes with inquiry based biology practical. In Hugman, A. and Placing, K., ed. Symposium proceedings: visualisation for concept development. Sydney, NSW: Uniserve Science. UniServe Science. Sydney, NSW. Oct 2008, pp. 24-29.
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L., Hunter, N.C. and Auburn, Z.M. (2008). First year biology: a dilemma for mature age students. In Jason Thomas, Senior Events Manager, QUT Events, ed. Proceedings of the 11th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference: An apple for the learner: celebrating the first year experience. Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Queensland University of Technology QUT Publishing. 11th Pacific Rim First Year in Higher Education Conference. Hobart, TAS. Jun 2008.
    [Web Link]
  • Menz, R.I., Burke Da Silva, K.L. and Hunter, N.C. (2008). Are science students' missing classes for the reasons we think? In A. Hugman and K. Placing, ed. Symposium Proceedings: Visualisation and Concept Development. Sydney, NSW: UniServe Science. UniServe Science. Sydney, NSW. Oct 2008, pp. 74-79.
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L., Wood, D.M. and Menz, R.I. (2007). Are the benefits of clickers due to the enforcement of good pedagogy? In Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship. Proceedings of the 30th HERDSA Annual Conference. Milperra NSW: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. 30th HERDSA Annual Conference. Adelaide. Jul 2007.
    [Web Link]
  • Smallhorn, M.N., Young, J.E., Hunter, N.C. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2015). Inquiry-based learning to improve student engagement in a large first year topic. Student Success (Formally International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education) 6(2) pp. 65-71.
    [10.5204/ssj.v6i2.292]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L., Barrie, S.C., Bucat, R.B., Buntine, M.A., Crisp, G.T., George, A.V., et al. (2015). Development, Evaluation and the Use of a Student Experience Survey in Undergraduate Science laboratories:The Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory Student Laboratory Learning Experience Survey. International Journal of Science Education, 31(11) pp. 1795-1814.
    [10.1080/09500693.2015.1052585] [Scopus]
  • Beck, C., Butler, A.B. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2014). Promoting Inquiry-Based Teaching in Laboratory Courses: Are we meeting the Grade? CBE - Life Sciences Education, 13 pp. 444-452.
    [Scopus]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2014). Biological Fieldwork in Australian Higher Education: Is the cost worth the effort? International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 22(2) pp. 64-74.
    [Scopus] [Web Link] [Web Link]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2014). Venom present in sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) induces apoptosis in non-small-cell lung cancer A549 cells through activation of mitochondria-mediated pathway. Biotechnology Letters, 36(3) pp. 489-495.
    [10.1007/s10529-013-1402-4] [Scopus]
  • Nedosyko, A., Young, J., Edwards, J. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2014). Searching for a Toxic Key to Unlock the Mystery of Anemonefish and Anemone Symbiosis. PLoS One, 9(5) pp. 1-8.
    [10.1371/journal.pone.0098449] [Scopus]
  • Ramezanpour, M., Burke Da Silva, K.L. and Sanderson, B.J. (2014). Marine bioactive products as anti-cancer agents: effects of sea anemone venom on Breast and Lung cancer cells. Cancer Cell & Microenvironment, 1(1) pp. e29.
    [10.14800/ccm.29]
  • Ramezanpour, M., Burke Da Silva, K. and Sanderson, B. (2013). The effect of sea anemone (H. magnifica) venom on two human breast cancer lines: death by apoptosis. CYTOTECHNOLOGY,
    [10.1007/s10616-013-9636-5] [Scopus]
  • Familari, M., Burke Da Silva, K.L., Rayner, G., Young, J.E., Cross, A.J. and Blanksby, T. (2013). Scientific inquiry skills in first year biology: building on pre-tertiary skills or back to basics? International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 21(1) pp. 1-17.
    [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • Taylor, C.D. and Burke Da Silva, K. (2013). An analysis of the effectiveness of feedback to students on assessed work. Higher Education Research and Development (HERDSA) 33(4) pp. 794-806.
    [10.1080/07294360.2013.863840] [Scopus]
  • Buckberry, S. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2012). Evolution: Improving the Understanding of Undergraduate Biology Students with an Active Pedagogical Approach. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 5(2) pp. 266-273.
    [10.1007/s12052-012-0416-z]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2012). Evolution centered Teaching of Biology. Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, 13 pp. 363-380.
    [10.1146/annurev-genom-090711-163749] [Scopus]
  • Illingworth, S.L., Burke Da Silva, K.L. and Butler, A.B. (2012). Investigations of socio-biological literacy of science and non-science students. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 20(2) pp. 55-67.
    [Scopus]
  • Ramezanpour, M., Burke Da Silva, K.L. and Sanderson, B.J. (2012). Differential susceptibilities of human lung, breast and skin cancer cell lines to killing by five sea anemone venoms. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, 18(2) pp. 157-163.
    [10.1590/S1678-91992012000200005] [Scopus]
  • Scutter, S., Palmer, E., Luzeckyj, A., Burke Da Silva, K. and Brinkworth, R. (2011). What do commencing undergraduate students expect from first year university? The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 2(1) pp. 8-20.
  • Yeung, A., Sykes, S.M., Sharma, M.D., Barrie, S.C., Buntine, M.A., Burke Da Silva, K.L., et al. (2011). The advancing science by Enhancing learning in the laboratory (ASELL) Project: The first Australian multidisciplinary workshop. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 19(2) pp. 51-72.
    [Scopus]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. and Hunter, N.C. (2009). The Use of Pre-Lectures in a University Biology Course-Eliminating the Need for Prerequisites. Bioscience Education, 14(2)
    [Web Link]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2008). Biology and Society: A New Way to Teach Tertiary Science to Non-science Students. Bioscience Education, 12(c4) pp. 1-5.
    [10.3108/beej.12.c4]
  • Smallhorn, M.N., Young, J.E., Hunter, N.C. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2015). Inquiry-based learning to improve student engagement in a large first year topic. Student Success (Formally International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education) 6(2) pp. 65-71.
    [10.5204/ssj.v6i2.292]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L., Barrie, S.C., Bucat, R.B., Buntine, M.A., Crisp, G.T., George, A.V., et al. (2015). Development, Evaluation and the Use of a Student Experience Survey in Undergraduate Science laboratories:The Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory Student Laboratory Learning Experience Survey. International Journal of Science Education, 31(11) pp. 1795-1814.
    [10.1080/09500693.2015.1052585] [Scopus]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2014). Biological Fieldwork in Australian Higher Education: Is the cost worth the effort? International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 22(2) pp. 64-74.
    [Scopus] [Web Link] [Web Link]
  • Beck, C., Butler, A.B. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2014). Promoting Inquiry-Based Teaching in Laboratory Courses: Are we meeting the Grade? CBE - Life Sciences Education, 13 pp. 444-452.
    [Scopus]
  • Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2014). Venom present in sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) induces apoptosis in non-small-cell lung cancer A549 cells through activation of mitochondria-mediated pathway. Biotechnology Letters, 36(3) pp. 489-495.
    [10.1007/s10529-013-1402-4] [Scopus]
  • Ramezanpour, M., Burke Da Silva, K.L. and Sanderson, B.J. (2014). Marine bioactive products as anti-cancer agents: effects of sea anemone venom on Breast and Lung cancer cells. Cancer Cell & Microenvironment, 1(1) pp. e29.
    [10.14800/ccm.29]
  • Nedosyko, A., Young, J., Edwards, J. and Burke Da Silva, K.L. (2014). Searching for a Toxic Key to Unlock the Mystery of Anemonefish and Anemone Symbiosis. PLoS One, 9(5) pp. 1-8.
    [10.1371/journal.pone.0098449] [Scopus]
  • Ramezanpour, M., Burke Da Silva, K. and Sanderson, B. (2013). The effect of sea anemone (H. magnifica) venom on two human breast cancer lines: death by apoptosis. CYTOTECHNOLOGY,
    [10.1007/s10616-013-9636-5] [Scopus]
  • Familari, M., Burke Da Silva, K.L., Rayner, G., Young, J.E., Cross, A.J. and Blanksby, T. (2013). Scientific inquiry skills in first year biology: building on pre-tertiary skills or back to basics? International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 21(1) pp. 1-17.
    [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • Taylor, C.D. and Burke Da Silva, K. (2013). An analysis of the effectiveness of feedback to students on assessed work. Higher Education Research and Development (HERDSA) 33(4) pp. 794-806.
    [10.1080/07294360.2013.863840] [Scopus]

Professional and community engagement

Reviewer for the Office of Learning and Teaching

Reviewer for Higher Education Research Group of Adelaide

Expertise for media contact

Subject Titles

  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Education - Science
  • Marine science
  • Toxicology/Toxins
  • Zoology

Interests

  • clownfish (conservation and biology)

Contact

Add to address book
Phone: +61 8 82012010
Email:
Location: Biological Sciences (038)
Postal address: GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia
MACO login

inspiring achievement