Custom Tuition

Students studying the ecology of grasstrees
Students studying the ecology of grasstrees

Field-based courses are undoubtedly the best way to learn.

Marcus and Claire are dedicated to teaching younger generations about the intricate processes and interactions within our natural world.

From primary school students to secondary and tertiary levels, tuition is customised to suit any level or ability, with most interests able to be accommodated.

University Teaching:

From 2010 to now (Sept/Oct each year), students from Stanford University have undertaken field studies and targeted research projects (TRP’s) on Sheoak Ridge that have ranged in scale from defining ecosystems to studying the behavior and ecology of a single species.

Students from Stanford Uni studying aspects of open woodland ecosystems
Students from Stanford Uni investigating ant biodiversity in relation to fire regimes

Claire and Marcus have extensive experience in field-based teaching at university level. Claire’s credentials include a PhD, first class Honours and a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in entomology/zoology. Claire’s PhD in molecular and taxonomic entomology focused on the enigmatic glow-worms found only in Australia and New Zealand. Marcus has a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Botany, with honours in Geology from Latrobe University, Victoria. Both have lectured and taught terrestrial ecology to students from Stanford University, as part of their overseas study program in Australia, at the University of Queensland, for a number of years. Claire has been involved in teaching on UQ’s international programs within Australia since 2003, including terrestrial ecology field trips to Fraser Island, Carnarvon Gorge, Lamington National Park, Girraween, Far north Queensland and Stradbroke Island.

If you’d like to inquire about an accredited university ecology program through the University of Queensland (as we are contracted to do with Stanford University), please feel free to contact Claire to get the ball rolling. šŸ™‚ Please use our contact us page to email us.

Primary and high school teaching:

Bugs’n Stuff – Insect workshops for your classroom!

Dr Claire is able to visit your class at school with a car load of insects and fascinating information for students! Claire has worked extensively with school-aged students for the past 10 years as a presenter for a school-based education program, Bugs Ed**, but has now developed her own workshops through her own company, Bugs’n Stuff. She has visited schools from the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine coast, Mackay, Townsville, Innisfail, Cairns region, Atherton Tablelands and for six years she traveled out to schools in the Gulf of Carpentaria in far north Qld (Doomadgee, Mornington Island, Normanton, Karumba, Croydon, Gregory Downs and Burketown). Claire has started her own school visits in far north Queensland to make the visits more affordable for schools and environmentally sound (no more plastic!). Please contact Claire via the contact us page on this website for more information, costings and inclusions.

Dr Claire's Bugs'n Stuff workshops use a variety of teaching methods aimed to stimulate your students to learn about living things and the environment.
Dr Claire’s Bugs’n Stuff workshops use a variety of teaching methods aimed to stimulate your students to learn about living things and the environment.

Claire can fit her workshops around the school curriculum and is working off the topics/themes listed below taken directly from the Education Queensland website. Claire is more than happy to discuss specific topics requested by teachers.
Prep/Foundation year: Living things have basic needs, including food and water. (Workshop: Living insects)
Year 1: Living things have a variety of external features. (Workshop: Living insects)
Year 2: Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves. (Workshop: Insect life cycles)
Year 3: Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things. (Workshop: Living insects or Insect life cycles)
Year 4: Living things have life cycles. (Workshop: Insect life cycles II (more advanced))
Year 5: Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment. (Workshop: Insect adaptations)
Year 6: The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment. (Workshop: Insects and the Environment)
Year 7: There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity. Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs; human activity can affect these interactions. (Workshop: Classification of Class Insecta)
Year 8: Cells are the basic units of living things and have specialised structures and functions. Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce. (Workshop: Physiology of insects)
Year 9: Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment.Ā  Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems. (Workshop: Insects in ecosystems)
Year 10: The transmission of heritable characteristics from one generation to the next involves DNA and genes. The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence. (Workshop: Natural selection in the class insecta)

**If you are based in south east Queensland, please contact Michelle at Bugs Ed, as Dr Claire’s Bugs’n Stuff program only visits schools on the Atherton Tablelands, Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York and Cairns region.

Children’s tv shows Scope, Totally Wild and Toasted TV have also featured Dr Claire as a guest presenter for programs on entomology and caves.


Students from Stanford University working on individual scientific projects

Field trips to Sheoak Ridge:

Please contact us if you’d like more information about an educational field trip to Sheoak Ridge.Ā  We cater to all group sizes and all age groups. Small groups and self-catering groups are able to stay onsite and we have fabulous suggestions for nearby budget (but amazing!) accommodation and catering for large groups.

Students from Stanford Uni enjoying a day off, hiking in one of our nearby national parks.
Students from Stanford Uni and Dr Claire, enjoying a day off, hiking in one of our nearby national parks.

Topics for field studies

On our programs, theoretical lectures are given and reinforced by specific field-based activities. Some topics we’ve covered for past and present study groups include:

  • Australian Geology
  • Formation of the Australian Continent
  • Australia’s Climate
  • Evolution of Australian Flora
  • Diversity of Australian Flora
  • Mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians
  • Invertebrates
  • Birds
  • Conservation
  • Sustainable living
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Fire ecology
  • Ecology and
  • Biodiversity.

If you would like to discuss/lecture/teach a particular theme or topic for your group, please contact us for more information.

A news article from one of our Stanford trips to FNQ
A news article from one of our Stanford trips to FNQ
Students learning about the ecology of tropical strangler figs. Claire and Marcus can organaise permits for student day trips into spectacular nearby National Parks such as this one.
Students learning about the ecology of tropical strangler figs. Claire and Marcus can organise permits for student day trips into spectacular nearby National Parks such as this one.

Click on the following links to learn more about the fauna on Sheoak Ridge Nature Reserve:

Nature – Fauna






To learn more about the ecosystems and management practices at Sheoak Ridge, click on these links:

Nature – flora

Ecosystems and Habitats

Fire management

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A private nature reserve in North Queensland

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