Dr. Audrey O’Grady is a lecturer in Biology, in the department of Biological Sciences, UL.
Audrey originally trained as science teacher and despite having a passion for second level teaching and learning, her interest in ecology led her to pursue a research career in entomology, with a primary focus on ants. Throughout her PhD Audrey continued to engage in teaching and ultimately combined her research and teaching by developing an outreach programme in insect ecology. Audrey’s enthusiasm for STEM outreach has led to the development of many outreach programmes, where she trains undergraduate and postgraduate students in science communication, mostly aimed at primary school science. Since 2015, Audrey, in collaboration with NUIG Galway runs the UL Cell EXPLORERS programme.
Cell EXPLORERS is a science education and public engagement programme which aims to promote hands-on discovery of molecular and cellular biology. The programme is currently funded by Science Foundation Ireland. The programme is hugely successful, demonstrated by the most recent (June 2021) STEM outreach record breaker, where >300 primary school students in Limerick simultaneously extracted DNA from bananas.
Audrey has a number of teaching awards, and in 2021 was recognised as a Teaching Hero in the 2021 student-led Teaching Hero awards. Audrey also won the Science and Engineering teaching award in 2018. Her research has now evolved into STEM Education, having supervised 2 PhDs and 5 MScs in STEM Education since 2012.