Student Research Seminar Series 2022/23
by Giorgio Mentasti, Research Student, Department of Physics
Hey there! Welcome to our super exciting blog post, where we spill the beans on our epic return to the good old days before COVID hit. We’re a bunch of theoretical physicists who’ve weathered the storm, working on mind-boggling equations from our cozy abodes. But guess what? We’re finally back to the normal times together, ready to rock the scientific world.
Picture this: our research group, scattered and isolated during the pandemic, suddenly coming together like the Avengers assembling for a grand mission. The highlight of our triumphant reunion?
by Mohamed El-Zeadani, PhD student, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Thirty-two of us, all PhD students from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, visited the city of Bath on the 29th of April 2023. Our journey started by assembling in front of the College’s main entrance on Exhibition Road at 7:00 am. Half an hour later, we started the 97 miles journey west of London by coach. It took us about three hours to get there and the weather could not have been any better as cheerful lines of sun rays welcomed us as soon as we arrived.
On the coach preparing to head to Bath
We hurried to enter the Roman Baths to avoid missing the timeslot for our pre-booked tickets.
By Katherine Davis, PhD student in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (DIDE)
During the 2020/21 academic year, I took part in the Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) competition, which aims to raise awareness about how ideas can be commercialised. In the competition, teams of postgraduate students, technicians, or early career academics prepare a business plan for a hypothetical company and pitch to win prizes. In this blog, I will briefly explain how I got into the YES competition, how I found taking part in the competition, and my advice for people considering competing.
Getting into the YES competition
In the summer of 2020, I saw a post about forming a team for the YES competition on my department’s Teams channel.
by Helen Stoelting, PhD Student, National Heart and Lung Institute
If Dr Seuss wrote my PhD
by Teodora Rînciog, MSc Student, Centre for Environmental Policy
Hyenas – misunderstood villains?
Hideous creatures with a demon-like laugh, hyenas definitely meet all the criteria for a classic cartoon villain. I certainly thought so when I was a child, as did all of my childhood friends. None of us even thought twice about this judgement, even into our adulthoods. But, was this fair?
Why do we hate hyenas?
Since the premiere of the exceeding-popular cartoon “The Lion King” in 1994, hyenas were globally established as the silly enemies of the noble lion. Considering the unpleasant appearance of hyenas, the young audience didn’t find this hard to believe.
by Soteroulla Ellina, PhD Student, Department of Brain Sciences
Lab grown heart cells: Keeping the beat up
– Sorry, I am running late at the lab so I will have to raincheck today’s meeting…
This is probably something I have said more times than I wanted… Sometimes in confidence that the other person would understand and sometimes- especially with someone that I haven’t known for long, in a more apologetic way, hoping that they would not judge me. Good for me, this time, my friend belonged in the first category- he has known me for more than 15 years- so we quickly rescheduled.
by Adwoa Sarfo-Bonsu, MSc student, Department of Metabolism, Digestion & Reproduction
The more, the merrier: Cells have social lives too
There are certain processes that occur inside us that can only happen effectively when our cells are in close contact with each other. Our cells are ALWAYS communicating. Sometimes they check in on each other to make sure everyone is alright (tissue homeostasis), other times they might even team up together to fight an infection (immune response), and sometimes cells come together to make a whole new embryo (fertilisation).
To achieve all these things and many more, cells need to be able to constantly send and receive messages and instructions to each other.
by Nicola Robson, MSc student, Department of Life Sciences
The Fossil Gallery
My life in this museum may
Seem rather dull to you,
100 years stuck on a wall
Sounds tiring, it’s true.
But if you knew my story, you
Would soon begin to see
That epochs pass like seconds
When you’re as old as me.
I watch you humans flit about
Like ants, from my display,
And I confess, I do enjoy
To people-watch all day.
And so I’m quite content here, in
The Fossil Gallery – yet
I often reminisce about
My old life in the sea.
My ancestors were lizards
Slinking through the sun-kissed sand,
‘Till one day they decided
They were not content on land.
by Thea Mainprize, PhD Student, Department of Life Sciences
The Trial of the Red Gazelle
The thylacine, aurochs and countless more, What is another knocking at Heaven’s door? One more quietly met their maker,
The red gazelle (Eudorcas rufina).
Bright rufous pelts – such beauty, such grace! But all we know about are skin and face,
No genetic studies, no records in the wild, Only two specimens worldwide on file.
Three, there once were, shot 19th century, Allegedly Algerian – though this is speculatory, Upon inspection, an imposter! Begone!
One red-fronted gazelle (Eudorcas rufifrons). With the IUCN denouncing its legitimacy1, The red gazelle faded into obscurity,
A true species, or all imposters?
by Anjali Wijnhoven, MSc Student, School of Public Health
The Dangers of Superspreading – A Conversation with a 5-Year Old
There I am, babysitting 5-year old Thomas, when suddenly the ever-dreaded question comes up: “What do you do at work?” I would have expected this from relatives, friends even, but not from this little boy who I am trying to get to sleep. I guess it’s his way to stay up a little longer. Ah well, since this is the most interest anyone has shown in my work for a while, I decide to go for it.
Me: “Remember that virus that everyone has been talking about?