A/Prof. Louisa Tomas Engel, B.Ed./B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D., began her educational career as a secondary science teacher before she commenced her current appointment in Education at James Cook University, Townsville, in 2009. She is currently Associate Dean, Research Education for the College of Arts, Society and Education, and is an appointed member of the University's Academic Board, serving in the capacity of Academic Expert – Scholarship.

Louisa's teaching and research has focused on areas of Science and Sustainability Education. Her research primarily explores curricula and pedagogical approaches that engage diverse students in the learning of science and enhance the development of scientific literacy. She was part of a team of researchers that worked with local high schools as part of an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (led by QUT) that has investigated school students’ emotional engagement with socioscientific issues.

Most recently, Louisa has developed a program of research that has explored effective pedagogical approaches for Science and Sustainability Education in pre-service teacher education. This research has explored flipped classroom and blended learning approaches, and has been funded, in part, by a James Cook University Teaching and Learning Development Grant. The goal of this research is to inform best practice regarding teaching and learning in Science and Sustainability Pre-service Teacher Education, so as to better support the learning and success of our first year pre-service teachers.

Louisa's teaching and research in this field has been recognised by way of a number of awards, including a JCU TropEco Award for enhancing Education for Sustainability in learning, teaching and research, two JCU Citations and a National Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.


  • ED1411: Science and Sustainability in Education (Level 1; TSV & ONL)
  • RM8501: Research Planning (Level 8; CNS & TSV)
  • RM8502: Research Project (Level 8; TSV & CNS)
  • Innovative pedagogical strategies (including diversified writing-to-learn strategies) that support the development of scientific literacy and enhance student engagement in science learning, particularly in the middle school
  • Socioscientific issues education
  • The relationship between affect, student engagement, and the achievement of scientific literacy
  • Education for sustainability and preservice teacher education
  • Science education
  • Sustainability education
  • Curriculum and pedagogy
  • 2023 to present - Associate Dean, Research Education, James Cook University (College of Arts, Society & Education)
  • 2018 to present - Associate Professor, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2021 to 2022 - Associate Dean, Professional Experience and Accreditation, James Cook University (College of Arts, Society & Education)
  • 2019 to 2020 - Bachelor of Education (Secondary) Coordinator, James Cook University (Townsville, Cairns)
  • 2013 to 2017 - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2013 to 2014 - Director of Professional Experience and Community Engagement, James Cook University (Townsville, Cairns & Singapore)
  • 2009 to 2012 - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2023 - Award of Reviewer Excellence (International Journal of Science Education)
  • 2014 - Australian Award for University Teaching – Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (Office for Learning and Teaching, Australian Government)
  • 2014 - Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - for enabling diverse teacher education cohorts to experience profound engagement in science and sustainability through a blended learning approach (James Cook University)
  • 2013 - Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - for contemporary and innovative curriculum design that successfully engages students in science and sustainability education (James Cook University)
  • 2013 - TropEco Award: Curriculum - for enhancing education for sustainability in learning, teaching and research (James Cook University)
  • 2011 - Rising Star Early Career Researcher Award (James Cook University)
  • 2011 - Research Performance Award: Commendation for External Research Income (Faculty of Arts, Education and Social Sciences, JCU)
  • 2011 - Research Performance Award: Early Career Rising Star (Faculty of Arts, Education and Social Sciences, JCU)
  • 2011 - Research Recognition Award: Early Career Researcher (Australian Teacher Education Association)
  • 2010 - International Committee Scholarship (National Association for Research in Science Teaching, USA)
  • 2006 - Australian Postgraduate Award (Queensland University of Technology)
  • 2006 - Vice Chancellor's Scholarship (Queensland University of Technology)
  • 2010 to 2024 - Australasian Science Education Research Association
  • 2004 to 2024 - Full teacher registration, Queensland College of Teachers
  • 2017 to 2022 - Science Teachers' Association of Queensland
  • 2017 to 2022 - Australian Science Teachers Association
  • 2013 to 2015 - Centre for Research & Innovation in Sustainability Education, James Cook University
  • 2022 to 2027 - Member - School Board, Ryan Catholic College
  • 2022 to 2026 - ITE Program Accreditation Panellist, Queensland College of Teachers
  • 2021 to 2026 - Member - Learning and Teaching Standing Committee, Townsville Catholic Education
  • 2023 to 2025 - Deputy Chair - Community of Associate Deans of Research in Education (cADRE), Australian Council of Deans of Education
  • 2023 to 2025 - Executive Board Member - Australasian Science Education Research Association
  • 2022 to 2024 - Member - Academic Board, James Cook University
  • 2021 to 2024 - Education Representative - Local Marine Advisory Committee, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • 2016 to 2024 - Detailed Assessor - Grants, Australian Research Council
  • 2011 to 2024 - Reviewer - Int. Journal of Science Education, Research in Science Education, Science Education, Journal of Environmental Education, Teaching Education, Int. Journal of Sustainability in Higher Ed., Int. Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Ed.
  • 2010 to 2012 - Tertiary Teacher Educator Representative – Science Learning Area Reference Committee, (Queensland Studies Authority)

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 37+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Louisa Tomas Engel from 2010 onwards.


Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Educational Leadership for a Better World in the International Context;Research interests include - Leadership Models, Leadership and Gender, Leadership for the Future and Leadership within the International Baccalaureate context (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • 'Red-Dirt' Thinking of School Performance Evaluation: A 'Critical' Application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) in Queensland State Primary Schools (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Using mobile technology to personalise the acquisition of English as an additional language learning (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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