UK

Steve Robertson

Steve Robertson currently works on the ROBUST (Regeneration of Brownfield Using Sustainable Technologies) project: a collaboration between the School of Engineering and Computer Sciences, the Department of Geography and the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience.
His particular interest is soil chemistry and the interactions between soil organic matter, contaminants, soil biota and any materials we add to the soil to remediate it.

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Steve
Surname: 
Robertson
Location
City: 
Durham
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2006
Thoughts about famelab: 
"Although the competitive bit has the highest profile, it's actually been the communication training and the finding out about opportunities that have had the biggest impact for me. That and meeting lots of brilliant science communicators!"
Professional Information
Field: 
Chemistry
Speciality: 
Environmental Biogeochemistry
Qualifications: 
PhD, Newcastle University
Public engagement experience: 

Interviewed on BBC Radio Somerset

Local and national newspaper articles

Events at Cheltenham, Cambridge and Manchester Science Festivals, The BA Festival of Science and a range of schools

Participating in the Researchers in Residence Scheme and the BA's Perspectives Scheme

Topics of Interests: 
The Science of Superheroes
Media & Publications
Personal Websites: 
http://www.dur.ac.uk/research/directory/staff/?mode=staff&id=7023
Videos: 
 

Stewart McPherson

Stewart McPherson is a geographer at Durham University and has been fascinated by the natural world from an early age. His scientific interests concern the diversity of life and the ability of organisms to survive under extreme conditions. Following expeditions to South America and South East Asia, he has published two reference books examining carnivorous plants and life on the summits of remote, mountain-plateaus in the heart of South America's rainforest.

Personal Information
Title: 
Mr
Firstname: 
Stewart
Surname: 
McPherson
Location
City: 
Durham
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2006
Professional Information
Field: 
Other
Speciality: 
Geography
Public engagement experience: 

Published two reference books examining carnivorous plants and life on mountain-plateaus in South America's rainforest

Was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme about the discovery of a new species of carnvorious pitcher-plant

Has held over 20 presentations documenting his research

Topics of Interests: 
Survival strategies of plants living in the most extreme environments on Earth
Media & Publications
Videos: 
Publications: 
http://www.redfernnaturalhistory.com/books/name/glistening_carnivores_-_the_sticky-leaved_insect-eating_plants_-_hardback
 

David Loong

David Loong currently resides in London. He has an undergraduate degree in chemical technology from Massey University, New Zealand and a PhD in organic chemistry from the Australian National University, Australia. Currently, he is a postdoctoral research associate at Imperial College London working on new ways of making molecules with unusual optical properties. He entered Famelab by talking about how jelly gels and explaining the great mystery of how fake-tan cream works. In his spare time, David likes to cook.

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
David
Surname: 
Loong
Location
City: 
London
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2006
Thoughts about famelab: 
"I had a fun experience at FameLab, despite feeling so very ill-prepared. The judges gave very encouraging and worthwhile criticism after my first presentation to help me structure my second one - they really want to hear about the hard science and how good we are at communicating complicated ideas without resorting to incomprehensible jargon. It was a real high to speak for 3 minutes, desperately hiding my nervousness. Even if you think you're not prepared, just turn up and give it a go - you never know if your enthusiasm might shine through despite everything."
Professional Information
Field: 
Chemistry
Speciality: 
Organic Chemistry
Qualifications: 
BSc Chemical Technology, Massey University, New Zealand PhD Organic Chemistry, Australian National University, Australia
Topics of Interests: 
Talking about how jelly gels and explaining the great mystery of how fake-tan cream works
Media & Publications
Videos: 
 

Dr Sarah Forbes-Robertson

Dr Sarah Forbes-Robertson studied biology at Bristol, and then a PhD at University College London, on pattern formation, or 'how you get toes in the right places'. She now works at the School of Medicine in Swansea University, looking at breast and thyroid cancer, and the effects of radiation. As a result of this, she has been lucky enough to visit some of the world's most irradiated places!

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Sarah
Surname: 
Forbes-Robertson
Location
City: 
Swansea
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2006
Thoughts about famelab: 
"I learnt a lot about presentation skills, just from watching the other contestants. All the judges were fantastic - they gave really positive feedback, and not a single Simon Cowell moment! It was a marvellous opportunity to get feedback on my presentations from people who do that sort of thing for a living."
Professional Information
Field: 
Biology
Speciality: 
Molecular Biology
Qualifications: 
BSc Biology, University of Bristol PhD, University College London
Public engagement experience: 

Presenting an event at Cheltenham Science Festival with a full audience participation genetics experiment

Topics of Interests: 
Development
Cancer & Ageing
Media & Publications
Videos: 
 

Sarah Curtis

After completing her A-levels Sarah Curtis embarked upon a Masters degree at the University of Leeds, the deadline for which was six days after 2006 FameLab final! In the FameLab auditions Sarah talked about using tea as a pH indicator and the mini chemistry set that is a glow stick. Since then she has been busy finishing research, writing her dissertation and preparing for the final presentation of her degree.

Personal Information
Title: 
Ms
Firstname: 
Sarah
Surname: 
Curtis
Location
City: 
Leeds
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2006
Thoughts about famelab: 
Everyone involved with the event (contestants, judges, FameLab staff) were so supportive and best of all very vocal, letting me know that they hadn't noticed my mistakes and that yes, they did understand what I was trying to explain! The judges do read like a who's who of science communication but they are incredibly understanding and supportive. The opportunity to take part in FameLab is one that you shouldn't miss out on. I've already had emails from the other contestants I met so this genuinely is a fantastic way to meet like minded people. Also, you get your name put into the FameLab database (a kind of alumni system) so if there's future science communication events in your area then they get can get in touch. Above all I had a fun day, learnt a lot and best of all... it didn't cost me a penny!" Click here to return to the Hall of FameLab
Professional Information
Field: 
Chemistry
Qualifications: 
MSc Chemistry Student, University of Leeds
Media & Publications
Videos: 
 

Karl J C Byrne

Karl is originally from Dromara, Northern Ireland. He carried out his undergraduate degree in Virology at Edinburgh University, before working in various laboratories around the UK.

He has been a full time science communicator since 2008, writing and presenting science shows, training scientists and science communicators, lecturing in science communication and designing exhibitions for science centres. He is currently the Senior Programme Coordinator at Cheltenham Science Festival.

Personal Information
Title: 
Mr
Firstname: 
Karl
Surname: 
Byrne
Location
City: 
Bristol
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2006
Thoughts about famelab: 
"Everyone was really friendly, which helped me relax a bit before the competition started. I had been worried that the judges would be of the Simon Cowell variety, but this couldn't have been further from the truth. They gave all of us really helpful feedback about where our strengths may lie and things which we could change to improve our presentation skills. I can honestly say that Famelab changed my life for the better and is one of the best things I have ever been involved with"
Professional Information
Field: 
Biology
Speciality: 
Virology
Qualifications: 
BSc Virology, Edinburgh University
Public engagement experience: 

Talks at various UK and European science festivals; lecturing in science communication; designing exhibitions for science centres; writing and presenting science shows (public and education); International trainer in science communication.
Best Demo winner 2012, British Interactive Group
Best New Factual Presenter 2011, Sheffield Documentary Festival

Languages Spoken: 
English
Topics of Interests: 
Viruses
Genetics
Molecular Biology
Astronomy
science of science fiction
cosmology
SETI/astrobiology
perception and illusions
Media & Publications
Videos: 
 

Davina Bristow

Davina Bristow is currently a freelance assistant producer working in science documentary production. She has worked on a number of popular science programmes for the BBC, most recently Bang Goes the Theory and the Origins of Us. Previously she did a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, having done a degree in biology at Oxford. Her research took her from studying why we don't notice our blinks to the lip reading abilities of two month old babies. She has also written about science for the Daily Telegraph, and for the London Student Newspaper while doing her PhD.

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Davina
Surname: 
Bristow
Location
City: 
London
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2006
Professional Information
Field: 
Biology
Speciality: 
Neuroscience
Qualifications: 
BA Biology, University of Oxford PhD Neuroscience, University College London
Public engagement experience: 

Science documentary production
Talks at Cheltenham and Manchester Science Festivals and Café Scientifique

Languages Spoken: 
English & French
Topics of Interests: 
‘The Neuroscience of Love'
‘Love and Other Viruses'
Media & Publications
Personal Websites: 
www.davinabristow.com
Videos: 
 

Lindsay Stenhouse

Lindsay graduated in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh in 2002 and completed her PhD in Molecular Parasitology from Moredun Research Institute / Glasgow University. Since FameLab, Lindsay has been an invited speaker for a number of conferences and events and continues to get a buzz out of communicating science. Lindsay has been working as a guest science presenter on a stream about non-native species which threaten Scotland's flora & fauna for a rural affairs programme. Her day job is an Operations Business Analyst for Oil and Gas UK in Aberdeen.

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Lindsay
Surname: 
Stenhouse
Location
City: 
Scotland
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Runner-Up
Year of graduation: 
2006
Thoughts about famelab: 
"I dragged myself along to the NESTA FameLab audition feeling incredibly nervous, wondering why on earth I was putting myself through this! But I figured that if I could present the findings of my PhD at a conference with every expert in my field in the same room, then surely it couldn't be any more frightening than that!? Once I was up there I just really enjoyed it and you can use the adrenalin to your advantage. The judges were really great, giving friendly advice and encouragement."
Professional Information
Field: 
Other
Speciality: 
Zoology
Qualifications: 
BSc Zoology, University of Edinburgh PhD Molecular Parasitology, Moredun Research Institute/Glasgow University
Public engagement experience: 

BBC Scotland freelance science presenter. Appearance on BBC Scotland's ‘Landward'

Events at Cheltenham and Cambridge Science Festivals, London International Youth Science Forum, FameLab International Conference

Science and Engineering Ambassador with SET Point

Event organiser, Aberdeen project 'Hungry for Energy' for Engaging Cogs

Media & Publications
Videos: 
Publications: 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/outdoors/articles/hogweed/
 

Sima Adhya

Sima Adhya studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and a PhD at UCL on how spacecraft wobble in their orbits because of sunlight.

Sima Adhya is Director of Space Insurance at Sciemus Ltd where she has worked since 2007. She is responsible for reviewing risks, negotiating rates and placing insurance.

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Sima
Surname: 
Adhya
Location
City: 
London
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Runner-Up
Year of graduation: 
2006
Thoughts about famelab: 
"One of the best things about FameLab is meeting so many passionate, like-minded people, with completely different areas of interest. It was inspiring, and a whole lot of fun."
Professional Information
Field: 
Other
Speciality: 
Space Technology
Qualifications: 
Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge PhD, University College London
Public engagement experience: 

Radio appearances: BBC local radio, BBC Asian Network, BBC Radio 4: Material World

TV appearances: ‘Super Human' series for Channel 4, a pilot for Discovery Channel, film for Teachers TV

Talks at: Café Scientifique, Cheltenham, Cambridge and Surrey Science Festivals, events for IET, INTECH, London Youth Science Conference, Nature Careers Conference

British Council events in South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bulgaria

Local and national print coverage including The Guardian, The Independent and The Times

UKRC Outstanding Women in Science Communication 2007 Award. Short-listed for Women in the Future Prize in science Nov 2006

Topics of Interests: 
Crashing spacecraft into asteroids to deflect them away from the Earth
Media & Publications
Videos: 
 

Jonathan Wood

Jonathan has a PhD from the School of Biology at the University of Leeds, where he tried to work out how some biological molecules (RNA and protein) fit together in a virus. Before that he gained a degree from Cambridge, mostly for persevering with their physics course. He now works for a scientific journal that covers the latest in materials science and so is called Materials Today. While he likes to think he plays viola well, he demonstrates a real flair for sleeping, watching TV, and talking about football. But not at the same time - that would be impressive.

Personal Information
Title: 
Mr
Firstname: 
Jonathan
Surname: 
Wood
Location
City: 
Oxford
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Winner
Year of graduation: 
2006
Thoughts about famelab: 
Jonathan on winning FameLab 2006: "I would encourage everyone with an interest to enter - the benefits are enormous. I've gained a real confidence and drive to go out and find the opportunities to speak, perform, and have fun with the science that interests me. It is a brilliant experience, and it's not only about the opportunity of fame and fortune. FameLab forces you to think more carefully about how science works and what catches the imagination."
Professional Information
Field: 
Biology
Speciality: 
Materials Science
Qualifications: 
Physics degree, University of Cambridge PhD, School of Biology, University of Leeds
Public engagement experience: 

Since winning Jonathan has:
• Had regular appearances on BBC Radio Oxford for science phone-ins
• Been Interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live
• Judged Institute of Ideas debating competition for sixth formers
• Visited Copenhagen with British Council for Sixth Form Conference
• Visited Sri Lanka with British Council to talk to school children

And appeared in events at:
• Cambridge Science Festival 2007/2008
• Institute of Physics ‘Physics in Perspective' residential course
• University of Bath in Swindon Schools Lectures
• Rutherford Appleton Laboratory public lectures
• Two lectures on communicating science to University of Cambridge students
• Manchester Science Festival 2008
• Talk for school teachers at Bury St Edmunds
• Cheltenham Science Festival 2007/2008
• Science Oxford cabaret
• Talk to London International Youth Science Forum 2006
• Talk to 2006 BIG (British Interactive Group) Conference

Regular appearances on BBC Radio Oxford and BBC Radio 5 Live

Judged Institute of Ideas debating competition for sixth formers

Visited Copenhagen and Sri Lanka with British Council to talk to school children

Talks and events at Cambridge, Cheltenham and Manchester Science Festivals, East of England Science Teachers Conference, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, various schools, Science Oxford and the BIG conference

Institute of Physics ‘Physics in Perspective' residential course with A-level Students

Languages Spoken: 
English
Topics of Interests: 
How biological molecules fit together in virus
Media & Publications
Videos: 
 
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