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School of STEM Education, Innovation & Global Studies


Primary Department
School of STEM Education, Innovation & Global Studies
Academic Staff
Thomas McCloughlin_001
Phone number:
01 700
St Patrick's Campus
Room Number

Academic biography

Thomas John Johnston McCloughlin is an Assistant Professor of Biology & Education. He majored in Crop Productivity (applied botany) and Hydrobiology (aquatic - freshwater and marine) as part of his first degree (Ulster). He is interested in all aspects of biology, and specifically the history and philosophy of biology. He teaches undergraduate biology education modules as well as general science education and modules on local studies. He holds Masters degrees in Education and Theology. His doctorate (TCD) concerns the cognition of biological natural kinds and their classification. Dr. McCloughlin is the director of the herbarium in DCU and the curator of the Science Archive. He is currently researching the history of biology as found in Aristotle and Theophrastus; and the history of biology education as found in textbooks (1870 - date), especially in the German Boycott of the early 20th century, and mathematogenic misconceptions in textbooks, and the juxtaposition between biology education and biology per se as expressed in experimental apparatus (again through textbooks 1870 - 1960). Dr. McCloughlin is engaged in research concerning Rogerstown Estuary in north county Dublin, specifically on the biodiversity and how it is affected by the water quality entering the estuary, especially phosphate pollution and its sequestration. He is also currently engaged as an investigator in the EMPIRE Project in the Water Institute where he is establishing the DCU Mesocosm, funded by the EPA.

Research interests

Learning in biology at all levels in school education involving research using the following methods:  Repertory Grid Analysis, Bayes Nets, conceptual framework mapping techniques, structural equation modelling in examining causal pathways in natural learning environments, Rasch Analysis, Multidimensional Scaling.

History, Philosophy and Sociology of biology at all levels in school education and in the following themes: experimental biology in history: photosynthesis, transpiration, plant growth; herbarium studies.  Nature of Biology (as a subset of nature of science). The philosophy of biology as it relates to biology education.

Systematics: Natural variations in species, biometrical and bioinformatical applications concerning dicotyledonous plants (teratology) and digenean trematode parasites. Plant distribution and herbarium studies.