Dr David McKay has Bachelor, Masters and PhD degrees in biochemistry, molecular biology and microbiology. His main research interest is in molecular microbiology, and he has worked on or is currently involved in projects such as:
- the use of molecular techniques to characterise the strains present in cyanobacterial blooms
- examining the occurrence of Helicobacter in marine mammals
- the molecular biology of leptospira and;
- using microbial markers to monitor the rehabilitation of mine sites and the presence of pathogenic bacteria in waterways
Dr McKay has a strong interest in teaching and learning. He is a registered teacher and has taught at both secondary and tertiary levels. He has been involved in attracting a number of teaching grants concerned with improving teaching and learning in the secondary science area. These projects include biotechnology in the classroom, where high school students employ recombinant DNA technology to clone a gene, and Innovate Now, where university students teach in primary science.
In 1999, Dr McKay was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of New England and Supervisor of the Year. In 2003, he was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University of the Sunshine Coast.