Aberystwyth graduate in prestigious science award finals

aberystwyth university zoology graduate eleanor paishAN ABERYSTWYTH graduate is in the finals of a prestigious science award.  Eleanor Paish, a graduate in Zoology, is a Biology Student of the Year finalist in the 2013 European Science Engineering and Technology (SET) awards.

The SET awards celebrate the educational excellence of both students and universities.  The ceremony brings together students, academics and leading figures in industry and science.  There were in excess of 500 students nominated for the award and Eleanor is one of only three to make it into the final round.

Graduating top of her class this summer, Eleanor investigated how groups of animals make decisions – “The wisdom of crowds.” She used tropical fish to discover how fish pass information between each other and consequently, how a group of fish decide what to do.  She now plans to publish her findings.  Dr Rupert Marshall, Lecturer in Animal Behaviour at IBERS, nominated Eleanor for the award and hailed her as “..an excellent ambassador for the biosciences..” He also said that she had “…done extremely well to make the finals – I am delighted at her success.”

Speaking about the nomination, Eleanor said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be short-listed, and it just shows that all the hard work you put into a degree (particularly a dissertation) can pay off! Of course it would be fantastic to win, because it is a very prestigious award, but I am just very happy to get through to this stage at all. After all, I am up against two other great candidates, so I have my work cut out for me. I am very nervous for my upcoming presentation and interview, but the awards ceremony should be good, whatever the outcome.”

Eleanor will now face an interview by a panel of experts in London at the end of September. The winner will be announced at an awards dinner shortly afterwards.