Student scoops top prize at Westminster research exhibition

A University of Aberdeen student has won the top award at the annual Posters in Parliament exhibition, which features the very best in undergraduate research from across the UK.

Francesca Jaroszynska, a final year MSci Biology student, saw off strong competition to take the award for the most outstanding research project, ‘100 years of alpine vegetation change in Perthshire’.

Craig Christie, a BSc (Hons) Biology student at the University, also exhibited at the event with his research project, ‘A mitey problem: establishing an artificial feeding system for the honey bee mite, Varroa destructor’. 

The event, held at Westminster by the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, was sponsored by the University of Central Lancashire, the Higher Education Funding for England and the Higher Education Academy.  Students from 24 universities displayed research findings from a range of subject areas, using eye-catching posters to exhibit their work.

Speaking about her experience, Francesca said: “Winning the award for the most outstanding research project took me completely by surprise, and it was a great honour to accept my award from Sir Anthony Cleaver from the Natural Environment Research Council. 

“The atmosphere at the exhibition was fantastic with so many interested and enthusiastic students and staff, as well as Members of Parliament.

“Westminster is an impressive place, and it was a great honour to represent the University there - I am fortunate to have an immensely supportive supervisor who nominated me for the Posters in Parliament event, and who originally helped me set up the project and apply for funding. 

“My research paper explores alpine vegetation change in Perthshire, where I examine the overall change in distribution of rarer alpine plants versus opportunistic generalist plants in the face of climate and land use change.

“My studies have been helped greatly by the emphasis the University places on research and placement opportunities. And of course it has also helped to have enthusiastic and inspiring lecturers who present their own research.”