I’m a Scientist March 2016: Who’s taking part?

IAS schools map

Click for the map of schools taking part.

I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here is back! In March students at nearly 130 schools from Devon to Mallaig will be interacting with 45 scientists across 9 different zones during this year’s British Science Week.

Between 7th–18th March school students will put the scientists through their paces in fast-paced live chats and probing questions on everything from the changing climate, to our understanding of gravity, to toxic substances, to what fat has ever done for us.

For the latest news and announcements about the event, find us on Twitter, @imascientist, and follow the hashtag, #IASUK.

Let’s meet the scientists and schools taking part in…

Biochemistry  Zone

This zone is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry and part-funded by the Biochemical Society.

The Scientists


Christopher Blanford | PhD Student, University of Manchester

I mash up mushrooms and bacteria, purify the goo, then put the bright blue product on carbon cloth so that we can have cheaper and greener electricity.

Andy Chapman | Lecturer, Kingston University

I design and make very small machines from atoms to make many of things we taste, touch, see and smell.

Nikki D’Arcy | Postdoctoral, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

I’m part of a team trying to discover new antibiotics to stop people getting sick in the future.

Jessica Groppi | PhD Student, Queen Mary University of London

I am a chemist that uses atoms and molecules as lego pieces to build machines that help doctors hunt for diseases.

Harriet Reid PhD Student, University of Bristol

I use nature to help me design new materials that could be used to treat cancer.

The Schools

  • Barnsley Academy, Barnsley
  • Bexleyheath Academy, Kent
  • Dartford Science And Technology College, Kent
  • Downham Market Academy, Norfolk
  • Grove School, Shropshire
  • Lord Lawson Of Beamish Academy, Co. Durham
  • Mackie Academy, Stonehaven
  • Midkent College, Kent
  • Old Palace Of John Whitgift Senior School, Croydon
  • Queen Elizabeth’s School, Dorset
  • Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School, Marlow
  • The Academy Selsey, Selsey
  • The Downs School, West Berkshire
  • The Oxford Academy, Oxford

Climate Change Zone

This zone is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Scientists


Cat Scott Postdoctoral, University of Leeds

When you walk through a forest you can smell a strong piney odour which comes from chemicals being emitted by the trees. I use computer codes to understand how these emissions affect the air around us, and the climate of the whole planet!

Olesegun Pharwarlay PhD Student, University of Birmingham

The air around us can be very unhealthy for us; I look for ‘what’ makes the air unhealthy and where the ‘what’ comes from.

Elaine Mawbey PhD Student, University of Bristol

Measuring the chemistry in little tiny fossil sea creatures to understand what climate was like in the past…..

Iain McClellan | Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland

I look at how cars and factories affects the air we breathe and how they affect the world’s climate.

Helena Quilter PhD Student, University of Bath

I’m trying to make new biodegradable plastics from orange peel, pine trees and mint!

The Schools

  • Bignold Primary School And Nursery, Norwich
  • Burleigh Primary School, Hertfordshire
  • Fairford C Of E Primary School, Fairford
  • Grafton Primary School, London
  • Hallam Primary School, Sheffield
  • Hindley Green C.P School, Wigan
  • Hutton Cranswick Cp School, Driffield
  • Inglehurst Junior School, Leicester
  • Mauricewood Primary School, Penicuik
  • Ralph Sadleir School, Near Ware
  • St Patrick’s Rc Primary School, Stockton On Tees
  • Touch Primary School, Dunfermline

Fat Zone

This zone is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The Scientists


Majid Ahmed | PhD Student, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences – University of Manchester

I am a Doctor and I experiment with microscopic blood vessels taken from mice and humans to find out how they help deliver blood to all the important organs around the body, and what goes wrong with these vessels when people are obese.

Charlotte Green | Postdoctoral, University of Oxford

I want to understand why some people have lots of fat in their liver and why this can lead to them developing diseases such as diabetes.

Hannah Moir | Lecturer, Kingston University

Testing how exercise effects the human body.

Sam Smith | Postdoctoral, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London

I research how to keep fit and healthy as we grow older, particularly how we can change people’s behaviour to prevent diseases such as cancer.

Richard Sulston | PhD Student, University of Edinburgh

When people or animals reduce the amount of food they eat they become healthier, I am looking at a hormone in the blood which is released more when we eat less and may help improve our metabolism and health.

The Schools

  • Aquinas College, Stockport
  • Blessed Hugh Faringdon, Reading
  • Comberton Village College, Cambridge
  • Dixons City Academy, Bradford
  • Grangemouth High, Grangemouth
  • Hayesfield Girls School, Bath
  • John F Kennedy Catholic School, Hemel Hempstead
  • Pool Hayes Arts And Community School, Willenhall
  • Standish Community High School, Wigan
  • Swanmead Community School, Ilminster
  • Teesdale School And Sixth Form College, County Durham
  • The John Henry Newman School, Hertfordshire
  • Walbottle Campus, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Walker Technology College, Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • Woodlands School, Derby

Gravity Zone

This zone is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

The Scientists


Benjamin Bose | PhD Student, Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth

Is the gravity between you and Earth the same as the gravity between galaxies?

Emma Dean | PhD Student, University of Southampton

I investigate how mountains grow on neutron stars and how they make gravitational waves.

Alice Harpole | PhD Student, University of Southampton

I model explosions on neutron stars.

Christian Killow | Postdoctoral, University of Glasgow

I make space rulers! To detect gravitational waves we want to build a spaceborne gravitational wave observatory and I use lasers to make very precise measurements that will be crucial for this.

Steve Marsden | Postdoctoral, University of Manchester

I am trying to find how gravity works at very small distances by looking at the debris created when smashing parts of atoms into one another close to the speed of light.

The Schools

  • Ferndown Middle School, Dorset
  • Hammersmith Academy, London
  • Lodge Park Academy, Northamptonshire
  • Mallaig High School, Mallaig
  • Nower Hill High School, Middlesex
  • Red Hill C Of E Primary School, Worcestershire
  • Silverdale School, Sheffield
  • St Wilfrids Ce Academy, Blackburn
  • Tapton School, Sheffield
  • The King’s School, Devon
  • The Minster School, Nottinghamshire
  • Thomas Gainsborough School, Sudbury
  • Valentines High School, Ilford
  • Winton Primary, London
  • Withington Girls’ School, Manchester

Medical Physics Zone

This zone is funded by the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Physics in Medicine.

The Scientists


Mobeen Ali | PhD Student, University of Nottingham

I am working on new ways of imaging the brain with MRI, to pick out age related diseases.

Laura Howarth | Royal Cornwall Hospital

Using high technology science to enable us to listen and obtain some amazing images of our arteries and veins in our bodies so that we can help to diagnose important problems so that the doctors can try to fix them!

Jennifer Lowe | University Hospital Southampton

I work in a hospital using radiation to treat cancer, mostly sat at a computer, sometimes in an operating theatre.

Greg Melia | Postdoctoral, University of York/KTP industrial partner Sylatech Ltd

Your body is emitting microwave rays, all the time, and I can use them to check whether you’ve got cancer.

Paul O’Mahoney | Postdoctoral, University of Dundee

I use light to help treat cancer!

The Schools

  • Aldersley High School, Wolverhampton
  • Barnsley Academy, Barnsley
  • Brayton High School, North Yorkshire
  • Copleston High School, Ipswich
  • Downham Market Academy, Downham Market
  • Fulford, York
  • Gordon’s School, Woking
  • Hendon School, London
  • Notre Dame School, Plymouth
  • Reepham High School And College, Norfolk
  • Reepham High School And College, Norfolk
  • Somervale School, Radstock
  • Stanborough School, Welwyn
  • The Academy Selsey, Selsey
  • The City Academy, Hackney, Hackney
  • The John Henry Newman School, Hertfordshire
  • Thornden School, Eastleigh

Toxicology Zone

This zone is funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Scientists


Stuart Atkinson | Cleansing Service Group

I design new treatment methods to destroy hazardous waste and make it safe.

Richard Friend | Intertek Melbourn

I invent methods so we can test medicines on machines to make sure that they’re OK to take, including everything from painkillers to protein bars!

Anais Kahve | PhD Student , University of Exeter Medical School

Understanding how fatty acids get inside cells.

Katy Kellet | PhD Student, University of Hertfordshire

I find ways to detect drugs of abuse in street samples to help police and doctors know what drug they are dealing with.

Lauren Laing | PhD Student, University of Exeter

My research explores how chemicals we release into the environment can affect fish living in our rivers, and how these chemicals could alter the way their genes work.

The Schools

  • Bingley Grammar School, Bingley
  • Churnet View Middle School, Staffordshire
  • Colton Hills Community School, Wolverhampton
  • Deferrers Academy, Staffordshire
  • Dunblane High School, Perthshire
  • Glyn School, Surrey
  • Jenny Pitman, East Sussex
  • King James’s School, North Yorkshire
  • Mount Tamar School, Plymouth
  • Saint Benedict Academy, Derby
  • Simon Balle, Herts
  • St Martin-In-The-Fields High School, London
  • St. Paul’s Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  • Thomas Knyvett College, Surrey
  • Trinity Cofe High, Greater Manchester

Iridium Zone

This zone is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

The Scientists


Gaia Andreoletti | PhD Student , University of Southampton

My project focuses on identifying disease causal DNA mutations in children diagnosed with a disorder named “IBD” using a supercomputer.

Jim Barrett | PhD Student , University of Birmingham

I look for new planets and other cool stuff in data that’s so messy that no one else can find them!

Adrian Buzatu | Postdoctoral, University of Glasgow

I study the fundamental building blocks of the Universe and how they combine to create atoms, to learn where we really come from.

Vicky Caulfield | Astra Zeneca/MedImmune Speke

I manage samples to provide scientific support for marketed products

Scott Lawrie | Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

I zap things with high voltage, get them really hot and add a dash of highly explosive hydrogen and caesium to make a plasma hotter than the surface of the sun!

The Schools

  • Ashcroft Technology Academy, London
  • Cheadle Hulme High School, Cheadle
  • Dunblane High School, Dunblane
  • Hawley Place School, Camberley
  • Kennet School, Berkshire
  • Lucton School, Hereford
  • North Somerset Enterprise And Technology College, Weston-Super-Mare
  • Parmiters School, Watford
  • Perth Academy, Perth
  • St Cuthbert Mayne, Devon
  • St James Ce Middle School, Suffolk
  • St John Payne School, Essex
  • The Holy Cross School, Kingston Upon Thames
  • Walbottle Campus, Newcastle Upon Tyne

Platinum Zone

This zone is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The Scientists


Daniel Biggs | The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics

Working in the exciting and often changing field of DNA editing.

Lowri Evans | An Energy Management Consultancy

As a Low Carbon Psychologist, I change peoples behaviour towards climate change, making them more energy efficient and reducing their carbon footprint

Kelly Houton | DuPont Teijin Films

It is against the law to steal someone’s bike or car and it’s also illegal to steal a novel invention. I protect our company from stealing other people’s inventions.

Greg Irving | Lecturer, University of Cambridge

I’m a doctor who researches how we can prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes

Giovanni Tancredi | Postdoctoral, Oxford University

I build and test very tiny and special circuits for building very fast and powerful computers.

The Schools

  • Caroline Chisholm School, Northampton
  • Chulmleigh Community College, Devon
  • Endon High School, Stoke On Trent
  • Ferndown Middle School, Dorset
  • Hammersmith Academy, London
  • Hitchin Boys School, Hitchin
  • Nicholas Chamberlaine, Warwickshire
  • Prendergast Vale College, London
  • Rainham Mark Grammar School, Kent
  • Sandymoor School, Runcorn
  • Swindon Academy, Swindon
  • The City Academy, London
  • The Cooper School, Oxfordshire
  • The Hazeley Academy, Milton Keynes

Gold Zone

This zone is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

The Scientists


Maddison Coke | PhD Student, University College London

I use beams of molecules to create tiny structures, smaller than the thickness of your hair, one layer of molecules at a time, so we can make smartphones run quicker in the future.

Chris Conselice | Professor, University of Nottingham

I study how galaxies are born and live their lives over 13 billion years

Hayley Moulding | PhD Student, Cardiff University

Everyone sleeps: I sleep; you sleep; even the Queen sleeps. Some people with changes in their DNA find sleeping really difficult. I want to work out why, and how their sleep differs from others.

Omur Tastan | Postdoctoral, Oxford University

I study how stem cells become neurons which will help cure brain diseases.

Jimi Willis | Postdoctoral, Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre

I help other scientists understand and fight cancer by measuring molecules in my really expensive machine.

The Schools

  • Cedar Primary School, Rochester
  • Central Primary School, Watford
  • Christ The King Catholic Primary School, Leicestershire
  • Frome Valley First School, Dorset
  • Keelman’s Way School, Tyne And Wear
  • Lark Rise Academy, Bedfordshire
  • Springfield Primary School, Middlesex
  • Springside Primary School, Lancashire.
  • St Andrew’s Church Of England Primary School, Sherborne
  • St Catherine’s Primary School, Hertfordshire
  • St Mary’s Primary School, Ayrshire
  • Thornton Primary School, Fife


Posted on February 19, 2016 by modantony in News. Comments Off on I’m a Scientist March 2016: Who’s taking part?