Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Celia Connor

 Celia Connor

Associate Diploma of Horticulture, Bachelor of Science - Plant Science, PhD candidate, Vegetation Ecology

Celia has had an interest in biological exploration from an early age. Her first collection at the age of 8, was a shell collection, she then moved on to rocks and a preserved reptile collection. As a young teenager, she cultivated tadpoles, lizards and antlions. Living adjacent to a state forest meant that Celia was able to jump the fence and remove tags from trees selected for removal, her first radical act as an environmental conservationist.

This passion for science continued and as a young adult, Celia studied horticulture, plant science, ecology and Earth Science. In the last few years, she has taken her three children out of School for a year and travelled around Australia with them, realising her passion and helping them learn as they explored the wonders of the natural world.

With a degree a BSc from CSU, majoring in Plant Science (online), she understands both the joys and frustrations of studying by Distance.  Celia has a special interest in outreach science activities for primary age children, which for her is the place it all began.

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Celia is currently the Subject Coordinator for BIO100 (Concepts of Biology) and AGR202 (Food, Culture and the Environment). BIO100 is a large first-year subject and involves a diverse cohort of both on campus and distance education (online) students. Celia organises and delivers the practicals and lectures for the on-campus students and the residential school for distance education students. Celia likes to provide practical hands-on resources and support for students from all walks of life. She teaches using a multimedia approach where possible, that engages students in new and innovative ways of learning. AGR202 covers climate change, sustainable agriculture, ethics and Indigenous land management and is taught to second-year Bachelor of Agriculture and Bachelor of Business Management students. This subject takes students on a sometimes challenging journey and encourages reflection on cultural and ethical beliefs relating to agricultural land management within a science-based context. Celia is also the Wagga campus coordinator for SCI102 (Experience Science), a subject designed to expose 1st-year education students to scientific concepts, knowledge and practice to help strengthen their science-based teaching.

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Celia is currently undertaking a research project with Associate Professor Geoff Burrows in the School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences. This project involves examining the plant stem and cell anatomy associated with photosynthesis in smooth-barked Eucalypt species in Australia.

Celia has also begun a PhD within the School of Environmental Science on the Albury Campus of Charles Sturt University. Her principal supervisor is Dr Jodi Price and co-supervisors are Associate Professors Geoff Burrows and David Watson. Her area of research is vegetation ecology, specifically the conservation value of the roadside habitat. As roadside vegetation is often the last remaining semi-natural habitat in many agricultural fragmented landscapes, it is important to determine its conservation value, especially in light of threats by invasive alien plant species. The information gained by this research can then be used to inform future management to support best practice in roadside conservation.

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Celia is a member of the Institute of Land, Water and the Society, a multi and trans-disciplinary Research Centre at Charles Sturt University.

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