Dr Martin Barker

Dr Martin Barker
Dr Martin Barker
Dr Martin Barker

PG Cert Higher Education (UoA) (BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (University of Sussex), PhD Plant Biology (University of Lancaster), PGCE (University of Exeter), Diploma in Counselling, Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy, MRSB

Senior Lecturer

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272697
Office Address

+44 (0)1224 272697 School of Biological Sciences 23 St Machar Drive ('Auris Builiding') Room G21 University of Aberdeen Aberdeen AB24 3UU

School of Biological Sciences

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Senate (2016-2020)

Senior Personal Tutor (2013- )

Disabilities Coordinator (SBS) (2011- )

Honorary Chaplain (Quaker) (2016- )

Committee member, Employee Engagement Working Group (Facilities & Resources Sub Group) (2016 - )

Academic Co-director, Chancellors’ Strategic Excellent Initiative (HEA) on developing/delivering student-led multidisciplinary electives

Chair, Feedback & Assessment Task Group (2016- )

Committee member, Student Survey Working Group

STAR assessor (2014, 2015)

Coordinator, School of Biological Sciences Teaching Swap Shop series (2013- )

Committee member, Friends of the Cruickshank Gardens Management Committee


PhD supervision

Abdullahi Umar J (2012-2015) The effect of drought on Acacia senegal (L) Willd. trees. [University of Aberdeen]

Porter-Bolland L (2001) Landscape ecology of apiculture in the Maya area of La Motaña, Campeche, Mexico [University of Florida]

Academic examining

2017: Ganesan, S (The systematics, phylogeny and conservation assessment of Pterospermum in Malesia, PhD)

2016: Liliana Muñoz (Molecular approach to seaweed biodiversity of Easter Island. (University of Aberdeen, MSc)

2015: Adamu Abubakar, Z. Aquaporins as candidate genes for drought avoidance QTL on rice Chromosome 7 (University of Aberdeen, PhD)

2014: Mytikou, A. Seaweed Biodiversity around the Antarctic Convergence in the South Atlantic (University of Aberdeen, PhD)

2014: Hechenleitner, P. A synopsis of Andean Vicia (Leguminosae: Papilionoideae), and keys to their identification. ((University of Aberdeen/ Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, PhD))

2011: Dhakal, B (MSc) Protected forest under-planted with Cardamom: impacts and opportunities for conservation and livelihoods (University of Aberdeen, MSc)

2008: Barnes VR. Ecology and management of fuels in tropical forests in Ghana (University of Aberdeen, PhD)

1999: Affum-Baffoe K.  Forest dynamics along an environmental gradient in Ghana (MSc, Aberdeen)



External Memberships

Journal reviewing

African Journal of Ecology, Biotropica, Functional Ecology (formerly Editorial Board), Journal of Ecology, Journal of Tropical Ecology, Journal of Tropical Forest Science, International Tree Crops Journal (formerly editor), Plant Ecology, Tree Physiology, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education

Reviews of scientific proposals

2001. National Science Foundation (for Prof Henry Gholz). Informal review.


Research Overview

Pedagogical research

My interests are focussed on the experience of students as individuals, including:

  • student-staff communication styles
  • iterative feedback
  • adaptive assessment
  • differentiated teaching and learning
  • student-led teaching and learning

Discipline based research

My main interests are in the ecophysiology of trees, particularly in the tropics, including:

  • Ecophysiology of leaves in different light environments
  • Nutrient cycling in tropical rain forests
  • Water relations of plants in desert/drought conditions
  • Sampling (including access) techniques for researching forest canopies

Current Research

Biological research

  • Water relations of plants in desert/drought environments in NE Nigeria

Pedagogical research

  • Differentiated and adaptive learning and assessment
  • Formality/informality in student/staff communication

Teaching Responsibilities

Programme coordinator

Plant and Soil Science (BSc, Single Honours) [CD27]

Course coordinator

BI2018: Biological Enhanced Skills Training ('BEST')

SX1504: 6th Century Course: Natural World

BI25P4: Plants, People and the Environment

BI3901 Mediterranean Terrestrial Ecosystems Field Course (Catalonia)

Course contributor

BI3010: Statistical Analysis of Biological Data

BI1009: Frontiers in Biological Sciences

SX1007 6th Century Course: Fearsome Engines

SX3503 Bioethics

BI4016 SBS: Honours Projects

BI4017/4517: SBS Honours Essays

BI4301/EV5301: Environmental Pollution

EK5505: Ecology and Society

GM50M1: Generic Skills (for PGT biosciences students)

Two-Day staff training course: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Contributor: Unit 3 'Feedback', Principles of Learning & Teaching in Higher Education


Honours projects

MSc projects
(none currently running)

PhD projects

(none currently running)