|Aoife McLysaght with the Finalists|
Congratulations are due to Rabindranath Sheeran, who carried off this year’s St. Columba's College Biology Prize on a fascinating and highly stimulating evening last Tuesday.
Entries for the prize were invited, in the form of abstracts of 500 words or less, on any topic of biological interest. Those selected then had to prepare a talk of 7 minutes for presentation to our guest judge Aoife McLysaght of Trinity College – in front of an audience of their peers and teachers.
The six finalists were: Hannah Wentges (Magnetic Nanoparticles), Patrick McGonagle (Genetics & Homosexuality), Mimi von Blomberg (The Three Gorge Dam and its Environmental and Biological Effects), Rab Sheeran (The Black Mamba and the Effects of Neurotoxin Venom), Aoise Keogan Nooshabadi (Allergens) and Robbie Hollis (The Panda).
After each presentation there was some pretty feisty questioning - which all the participants dealt with very well, then following quite lengthy deliberations. Dr. McLysaght rounded up the proceedings with some telling and pertinent observations before declaring the winner.
Thanks and congratulations to all six speakers for providing such an entertaining and informative evening - I have to say I came out at the end buzzing with enthusiasm for the world of Biology and not a little pride at the sorts of young scientists being nurtured here in SCC. Thanks also to our excellent judge who made a big contribution to the evening and has generously promised to return in the future to talk about her research in genetics. Finally of course, thanks to Mr Jones for organising and coordinating the event with his characteristic blend of enthusiasm and efficiency!