Dr Laura Colucci-Gray

Dr Laura Colucci-Gray

Senior Lecturer

Dr Laura Colucci-Gray
Dr Laura Colucci-Gray

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 274519
The University of Aberdeen l.t.gray@abdn.ac.uk 01224-274519 MacRobert Building, room 618







Laura Colucci-Gray is a s Senior Lecturer in Science Education and Sustainability Education in the School of Education.  Laura holds a first degree in Natural Sciences awarded with 110/110 cum laude from the University of Turin (Italy) and a doctorate in Science Education awarded by the Open University (UK).  Her research is located at the intersection between teacher education, pedagogical innovation and the epistemological reflection on science, particularly with regards to the field of science-technology-studies and sustainability debates.

Prior to gaining her lectureship in 2008 Laura worked as a contract researcher and contract lecturer at the University of Turin and Val d'Aosta, then  she was appointed as a research assistant and subsequently research fellow on the Scottish Teachers for a New Era project at Aberdeen.  Laura is currently President of the Scottish Educational Research Association and she is an executive member of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability (IRIS) based at the University of Turin.

Laura is a regular speaker at National and International conferences; she has been invited to give lectures at International workshops and she has been a panel discussant at several research conventions. She is currently the Director of Research and Interdisciplinarity, chairing the School Research Committee and a member of the School Executive. 


Research Interests

  • From science education to sustainability education: analysing the philosophical and pedagogical basis of the transition from scientific representation to conscious, relational action.
  • The use of interactive and participatory activities to deal with complex and controversial socio-environmental issues. 
  • Relational and phenomenological perspectives in teacher education.
  • Phenomenological perspectives in outdoor learning and contemplative ecology.


Current Research

Currently I am involved in a series of parallel projects:

Sustainability research. I am looking at the nature of the learning processes supporting prospective teachers of science  in dealing with the interdisciplinary topic of energy flows and matter cycles in the ecosystems and develop an understanding of sustainability issues.

As part of my work on sustainability research I am currently exploring the role of outdoor learning in enhancing percpetion and consciousness of one's own position in the environment and in-relation with other human and non-human beings.

Interdisciplinary research. Through a project funded by the British Academy and in collaboration with the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires (Argentina) I am contributing to researching teachers' creative practices in science education.

Teacher Education Research. I am interested in the transformative power of action research in developing teachers' identity, professional values and habitus.




  • University of San Andres in Buenos Aires (Argentina) - Creativity in Science Education. Two-year project funded by the British Academy (2013-2015)
  • Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability (Italy) - Sharing knowledge and practice of teaching for Sustainability in Higher Education - Three-year Erasmus Consortium project including 40 partner countries funded by the European Commission (2013-2016).
  • Centre for Citizenship and the Rule of Law (Aberdeen University).
  • Environment and Education interest group (Aberdeen University).

Research Grants

University of Aberdeen - pump priming fund (£. 1500) to develop learning and teaching sequences aimed at introducing themes and issues in sustainability studies in interdisciplinary learning contexts (2008).

Two-year Research fellowship (total value: 50.000 Euros) with the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on sustainability based at Turin University to undertake research on science and sustainability education (2009-2011).



Teaching Responsibilities

Teaching and Coordination

  • Co-coordinator (with Dr. Jackie Ravet) of the School of Education Doctoral Training Programme.
  • Convenor of the School of Education Seminar Series.
  • Master of Research (Educational and Social Research). Ethnography.
  • Master of Research (Educational and Social Research).Visual Methods.
  • B.Ed year 1 "Science, Education and Society" (course coordinator).
  • B.Ed year 2 "Science Communication" (course coordinator - currently suspended).
  • Cross university 6th century course "The Natural world" (Course Co-coordinator).
  • B.Ed1 "Mind, Body Nature"  - Outdoor Learning.
  • Cross university 6th century course "International Sustainable Development".
  • Cross university 6th century course “Sustainability: challenges and opportunities”.

Doctoral supervision in the areas of teacher education, science and sustainability education.

Current PhD and Master's students:

  • Semiyu Aderibigbe - An inquiry into mentoring relationships between teachers and student teachers in the classroom: a critical constructivist perspective (graduated in July 2012).
  • Fayadh Alanazi - Between Science and Place: Saudi Children's ideas of the Earth". (Viva held successfully on 9th December 2014).
  • Kirsten Darling  - Learning as participation: exploring relationships within an emergent paradigm.
  • Amy Scott-Murray - Technology and Marine science communication (co-supervision with Dr. Dan Mayor, School of Biological Sciences).
  • Nirwan Sharma - Developing Digital tools for Citizen Science: towards new ways of learning about thenatural environment (co-supervision with Dr Renee Van der Wal and Dr Advaith Siddhartha).  
  • Louise Hayward - Body, Mind and Nature: investigations of Holistic Education and Outdoor Learning (co-supervision with Dr. Donald Gray).
  • Cathy Frances - between science education and outdoor learning: the salmon goes to school project. (co-supervision with Dr. Donald Gray).
  • Carolyn Cooke - Exploring music teachers' ability to articulate their pedagogical theories during Initial Teacher Education (co-supervision with Prof. Jonathan Stephens).
  • Mark Sutherland - investigating the impact of the ukulele and outdoor learning on creative inclusive classrooms (co-supervision with Ms. Jenny Spratt).
Further Info

External Responsibilities

  • President of the Scottish Educational Research Association, www.sera.ac.uk
  •  Executive committee member of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on sustainability (IRIS). www.iris.unito.it
  • Editorial Board of Visions - Journal of Interdisciplinary Research on Sustainability. http://www.visionsforsustainability.net/
  • Editorial Board of Sysiphus, Journal of Education.


Admin Responsibilities

Director of Research and Interdisciplinarity 

Member of the School Executive

Chair of the School of Education Research Committee

School of Education Library representative


I am a member of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability based at Turin University (www.iris.unito.it). I am also involved in knowledge exchange activities with the Sustainability in Higher education network, the Aberdeen Centre for Evironmental Sustainability, the Aberdeen Centre for International Sustainable development and the European Teacher Education Network.



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