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Elisabeth Seetharaman (nee Smith)

PhD student and Associate Lecturer
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Life Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Anatomy and physiology

Liz is an experienced physiology teacher and now a post graduate researcher. She has an extensive background in higher and secondary education. She completed her PGCE and Fellowship of Higher Education Academy in 1998. She has a significant track record in curriculum enhancement and pedagogical innovation spanning over 20 years. Liz successfully set up a biology department in a new private school in 2010 and then returned to higher education in 2016 where she helped develop anatomy and physiology curriculum for optometrists, and in 2017 student nurses.


Liz has a background in both higher education and fundamental physiology research. She made important contributions to the understanding to bone density as a Research Assistant for the Medical Research Council, based at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.

Her background in HE includes leading and developing human and comparative physiology programmes. Student engagement and active learning are at the forefront of her approach.

Liz was Head of Biology at a secondary school for several years, and a regular visiting speaker for a local museum hosting primary and secondary schools. She is also a Volunteer Education Speaker for a local animal welfare charity visiting schools and community groups.

Research interests
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and their impact on various (mainly calcified) tissues
  • Internalisation of plastic nanoparticles into cells, how this occurs and what impact this may have on various cell types
  • EDC toxicology and the impact on bone cells (current doctoral studies)
  • Introductory Human Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for Nurses BSc and Foundation
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology for BSc Biomedical Science and Forensic Science
  • Osteology, the systematic examination of animal museum specimens and models
  • BSc Hons Biological Sciences (Environmental Toxicology & Biomedical Science) 1996, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU)
  • PGCE & FHEA 1998, ARU
  • MPhil (intended) – 2007 Medical Research Council and ARU: A pilot study - Dietary fatty acid ratios (PUFA) and bone mineral content
  • Doctoral student – Current: Plastic and pharmaceutical derived EDC toxicology and impact on bone cells in culture
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Member of the Royal Society of Biology
  • Member of British Ecological Society
  • Member of the Bioscience in Nurse Education (BiNE) development forum
Selected recent publications

Parsons, T. J., Prentice, A., Smith, E. A., Cole, T. J., Compston, J. E., 1996. Predictors of Bone Mass and Bone Mineral Consolidation in Young British Adults. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 11(2). A three year longitudinal study to monitor the effects of diet, physical activity and other lifestyle variable on bone density and total body composition in 80 young healthy adults.

Compston, J. E., Smith, E. A., Matthews, C., Schofield, P., 1994. -Whole Body Composition and Regional Bone Mass in Women with Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. Clinical Endocrinology, 41(3), pp. 289-93. A cross sectional study of 50 insulin dependent diabetic women aged between 40 and 65 to establish the effects of this chronic condition on the density of bone.

Recent presentations and conferences
  • FSE PGR July 2023 poster presentation ARU Chelmsford
  • FSE Life Sciences June 2023 oral presentation ARU Cambridge
  • MTRC September 2023 poster presentation ARU Cambridge
  • British Ecological Society December 2023 poster presentation – Belfast