UK

Marieke Navin

Marieke received a first class degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Sheffield in 2000. She then spent a year earning followed by a year burning (following the sun around the world) as well as 6 months teaching science in Ghana, to return to Sheffield for a PhD in 2003. She is now writing up her thesis on scintillator for a neutrino oscillation experiment. Last year she spent 6 weeks helping to repair a huge underground water neutrino detector deep in the Japanese Alps. Marieke's hobbies are learning Japanese and sign language, singing in the University choir and meditating.

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Marieke
Surname: 
Navin
Location
City: 
Manchester/Sheffield
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2007
Thoughts about famelab: 
"It took me a year to pluck up enough courage to enter NESTA FameLab, and I spent the two weeks before panicking about my talks! But it was definitely worth it and the day although exhausting was so exciting and I am so thrilled to win! The judges gave me such excellent feedback and all the organisers were incredibly helpful and friendly."
Professional Information
Field: 
Physics
Speciality: 
Particle Physics
Qualifications: 
MPhys Physics and Astronomy PhD Particle Physics
Public engagement experience: 

Outreach projects in schools

Teaching science in Ghana

Media & Publications
Videos: 
 

Jan Schnupp

Jan Schnupp grew up in Munich and spent a year in Paris before coming to England to study Genetics at UCL. This is where he met his wife Sheelah. Twenty years ago he moved to Oxford to take up a career in Neuroscience. He now co-directs the Auditory Neuroscience Group at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

Personal Information
Title: 
Prof
Firstname: 
Jan
Surname: 
Schnupp
Location
City: 
Oxford
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2007
Thoughts about famelab: 
"I have often been surprised by the suspicion that many ordinary people seem to feel towards scientists. The truth is, most successful scientists are fairly ordinary people who are driven by a childlike fascination with the world around them, but often they are not very good at communicating their insights to others. As a facts about the things that go on inside our heads, and I thought it would be fun to share them with more of the public (who, after all, pay for much of this scientific research through their taxes!). NESTA FameLab seemed like a great opportunity to get involved, and it has proven to be fun, as well as useful. It's a great initiative and I hope there will be more like it
Professional Information
Field: 
Medicine
Speciality: 
Sensory Neuroscience
Qualifications: 
BSc Genetics BA Mathematical Sciences DPhil Physiology
Public engagement experience: 

Talk at 2011 Cheltenham Science Festival

Several interviews on BBC Radio Oxford

Material World, BBC Radio 4

Café Scientifique presentations in Bulgaria and Greece

Public shows at Oxford Arts Week

Languages Spoken: 
English
German
French
some Italian and Spanish
Topics of Interests: 
Creativity - Method or Madness?' ‘Making Sense of Sound'
Media & Publications
Personal Websites: 
https://mustelid.physiol.ox.ac.uk/jan/
http://howyourbrainworks.net
http://auditoryneuroscience.com
Videos: 
 

Nicholas Harrigan

When Nicholas won NESTA FameLab he was studying towards a physics PhD at Imperial College London. His research was about trying to understand the strange quantum behaviour of very small things and investigating how this strangeness can be used to try and create new types of communication and computation. In particular he'd like to know why only small things are strange and whether or not the moon is there when he doesn't look at it.... Nicholas likes to juggle things that are on fire and regularly plays air guitar to sold out imaginary audiences.

Personal Information
Title: 
Mr
Firstname: 
Nicholas
Surname: 
Harrigan
Location
City: 
London
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Winner
Year of graduation: 
2007
Thoughts about famelab: 
"FameLab was a great experience; the chance to get feedback on my presenting skills from professionals was invaluable. I was worried that the judges might be a bit aggressive but they were really friendly, everyone was able to enjoy themselves. Winning the London heat was fantastic and completely unexpected, but I still would have got a lot out of it even if I hadn't won. Anyone who's passionate about their science should take up this great opportunity."
Professional Information
Field: 
Physics
Speciality: 
Quantum Physics
Qualifications: 
BSc Physics Certificate of Advanced Studies in Mathematics
Public engagement experience: 

Events at Science Festivals

Talks to school children in schools and volunteer centres

Speaker at Institute of Education Physics Day Lectures

Media & Publications
Personal Websites: 
http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/researchcareers/percase/math/Pages/Harrigan.aspx
Videos: 
 

Becky West

Becky West studied Zoology at Bristol University before moving to London to communicate science to the most critical and hard to please audience - secondary school children. Whilst in Bristol she presented animal encounter sessions to the public at the zoo and volunteered for the zoo's outreach team. Becky specialises in A-level Biology and Psychology teaching but also runs a number of extra-curricular activities, including a gardening project and a science discovery club. At home, she shares her living space with a menagerie of over 20 animals ranging from imperial scorpions to hamsters.

Personal Information
Title: 
Ms
Firstname: 
Becky
Surname: 
West
Location
City: 
London
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2009
Professional Information
Field: 
Other
Speciality: 
Zoology
Qualifications: 
BSc Zoology, University of Bristol
Public engagement experience: 

Presented animal encounter sessions to the public and worked in outreach at Bristol Zoo

Running a number of extra-curricular school activities, including a gardening project and a science discovery club

Media & Publications
Videos: 
 

Andrew Pontzen

Andrew Pontzen, born near Oxford, is a cosmologist, currently based at Emmanuel College and the Kavli Institute for Cosmology in Cambridge. He received his PhD from Cambridge University in 2009. His research interests span everything from galaxy formation to the microwave background (the radiation left over from the big bang).

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Andrew
Surname: 
Pontzen
Location
City: 
Cambrigde
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2009
Professional Information
Field: 
Physics
Speciality: 
Cosmology
Qualifications: 
PhD, University of Cambridge
Public engagement experience: 

Extensive outreach work

Winner of NESTA FameLab 2009 MasterClass Award

Media & Publications
Personal Websites: 
http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~app26/?page=experience
Videos: 
 

Simon Foster

Simon Foster lives in North London and is currently working as a science teacher as well as developing a website to help students pass their GCSE science examinations, www.studydoctor.co.uk. Simon studied Physics with Space science (so he's a qualified rocket scientist) at the University of Southampton and stayed on to undertake a PhD in Solar-terrestrial Physics. Simon developed models and reconstructions of solar irradiance to help climatologists explain how the Sun has influenced the climate in the past so that they can better explain and understand current changes in the Earth's climate.

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Simon
Surname: 
Foster
Location
City: 
North London
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Runner-Up
Year of graduation: 
2009
Professional Information
Field: 
Physics
Speciality: 
Astrophysics
Qualifications: 
PhD Solar-Terrestrial Physics, University of Southampton MPhys Physics with Space Science, University of Southampton PGCE, Open University
Public engagement experience: 

Presenting a 3-Minute Wonder for Channel 4

Talks to amateur astronomy groups and schools

Developing a website to help students pass their GCSE science exams www.studydoctor.co.uk

Worked on the INSPIRE scheme at Imperial college, acting as an outreach officer to several London schools

Media & Publications
Personal Websites: 
www.studydoctor.co.uk
Videos: 
 

Alistair Linsell

Alistair is a nuclear training instructor at EDF Energy and freelance presenter. He came second in the 2009 UK competition and won the opportunity to make a "Three Minute Wonder" for Channel 4 which aired in November 2009.

Since the competition he has travelled to Venezuela to make a documentary with "The Lost World Project", pitched at Sheffield Doc/Fest, and taken the children's science show "Marvellous Medicine" to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Personal Information
Title: 
Mr
Firstname: 
Alistair
Surname: 
Linsell
Location
City: 
Durham / Gloucestershire
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Runner-Up
Year of graduation: 
2009
Professional Information
Field: 
Chemistry
Public engagement experience: 

Theatre and improvised comedy performances

Presenting a 3-Minute Wonder for Channel 4

Interviews on BBC Points West and BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Media & Publications
Videos: 
 

Sharon Bishop

Role Title: 
Executive Director, FameLab International

Name
Firstname: 
Sharon
Surname: 
Bishop
Country: 
UK
Organisation: 
Cheltenham Festivals
Websites: 
www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science
 

Steve Burgess

Role Title: 
Development Director, FameLab

Steve is responsible for the funding of FameLab.Org the parent organisation of the competition as well as the funding of the Cheltenham Science Festival.

Along with Sharon Bishop Steve sets the strategic direction of FameLab and manages all top level relationships with partners such as the British Council and funders of the Uk and global competition.

Name
Title: 
Mr
Firstname: 
Steve
Surname: 
Burgess
Country: 
UK
Organisation: 
Cheltenham Festivals
Websites: 
www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/science
www.famelab.org
 

Lewis Dartnell

Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology researcher at University College London looking into the possibility of microbial life surviving on the surface of Mars. Lewis started out with a Biology degree at Oxford before moving on to a PhD at UCL's interdisciplinary centre, CoMPLEX, and learning more about high-energy physics and computer programming than is probably healthy.

Personal Information
Title: 
Dr
Firstname: 
Lewis
Surname: 
Dartnell
Location
City: 
London
Country: 
UK
My FameLab
Place: 
Country Finalist
Year of graduation: 
2009
Thoughts about famelab: 
"FameLab really opened up my eyes to the broad range of ways of engaging people in the science I research, and I've got to know a fantastic bunch of people that I'll definitely be working with again in the near future".
Professional Information
Field: 
Biology
Speciality: 
Astrobiology
Qualifications: 
MSc(Hons) Biological Sciences, University of Oxford MRes Modelling Biological Complexity, CoMPLEX, University College London PhD in Astrobiology, CoMPLEX, University College London
Public engagement experience: 

Freelances regularly for newspapers and magazines such as New Scientist, and has published a popular science book, 'Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide'

Has given public lectures and organised hands-on science events at a range of institutions, science centres, festivals and schools

Worked for 6 months during 2008 producing the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures with Professor Chris Bishop, and associated website

TV and radio interviews on topics including astrobiology and space exploration. Guardian online podcast and blog on astrobiology

Languages Spoken: 
English
Media & Publications
Personal Websites: 
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucbplrd/
http://www.lewisdartnell.com/
Videos: 
Publications: 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Universe-Beginners-Guide-Astrobiology/dp/1851685057
 
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