Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Nicolette Birbara

Dr Nicolette Birbara

BMedSc, BSc(Hons), PhD

Nicolette completed 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.

Nicolette began her role as a Lecturer in Biomedical Science (Anatomy) in the School of Community Health at CSU at the beginning of 2021.

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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 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.

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Nicolette’s research interests lie in the area of anatomy education, specifically in the use of 3D technologies such as virtual and augmented reality as well as 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 immersive 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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Nicolette is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists.

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Publications

Birbara, N. S., Pather, N. (2020). Real or not real: The impact of the physical fidelity of virtual learning resources on learning anatomy. Anat Sci Educ [in press].

Birbara, N. S., Sammut, C., Pather, N. (2020). Virtual reality in anatomy: A pilot study evaluating different delivery modalities. Anat Sci Educ 13(4): 445-457.

Birbara, N. S., Otton, J. M., Pather, N. (2019). 3D modelling and printing technology to produce patient-specific 3D models. Heart Lung Circ 28(2): 302-313.

Otton, J. M., Birbara, N. S., Hussain, T., Greil, G. F., Foley, T. A., Pather, N. (2017). 3D printing from cardiovascular CT: A practical guide and review. Cardiovasc Diag Ther 7(5): 507-526.

Conference presentations

Birbara, N. S., Pather, N. (2019). Factors to consider in the instructional design of virtual learning resources for anatomy education. Oral presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA) conference, Perth, WA, Australia, 4-6 December 2019.

Birbara, N. S., Pather, N. (2019). Virtual versus traditional collaborative learning experiences for anatomy education. Oral presentation at the Congress of the International Federation of Associations of Anatomists (IFAA), London, UK, 9-11 August 2019.

Birbara, N. S., Pather, N. (2019). Real or not real: The impact of physical fidelity on learning anatomy in an interactive labelling task. Poster presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) conference, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 1-4 July 2019.

Birbara, N. S., Pather, N. (2018). Effectiveness of virtual learning experiences in collaborative learning: A pilot study. Oral presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA) conference, Townsville, QLD, Australia, 2-5 December 2018.

Birbara, N. S., Sammut, C., Pather, N. (2018). Immersive reality instruction for medical education: Stereoscopic versus desktop delivery. Poster presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) conference, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 1-4 July 2018.

Birbara, N. S., Sammut, C., Pather, N. (2018). Multimodal platform delivery in immersive reality instruction for medical education. Oral presentation at the combined Ottawa conference/International Conference on Medical Education (ICME), Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-14 March 2018.

Birbara, N. S., Otton, J. M., Pather, N. (2017).  3D printing the mitral valve for surgical planning: Comparison between cardiac CT and 3D echocardiography. Poster presentation at the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) conference, Perth, Australia, 10–13 August 2017. [presented by Otton JM]

Birbara, N. S., Otton, J. M., Pather, N. (2017). Patient-specific 3D printed models of the mitral valve for surgical and interventional planning: Value of cardiovascular CT. Poster presentation at the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) conference, Washington DC, USA, 6–9 July 2017. [presented by Otton JM]

Birbara, N. S., Otton, J. M., Pather, N. (2017). Patient-specific 3D mitral valve modelling from CT data for surgical planning. Poster presentation at the International Conference on Visualising Biological Data (VIZBI), The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 14–16 June 2017.

Birbara, N. S., Otton, J. M., Pather, N. (2016). 3D modelling and printing for surgical planning and management. Oral presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA) conference, Canberra, Australia, 7–9 December 2016.

Birbara, N. S., Yoo, S., Pather, N. (2016). Disruptive technology: Virtual/immersive reality, 3D printing and medical imaging. Poster presentation at the Inaugural Biomedical Research Symposium, UNSW Sydney, Australia, 30 September 2016.

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