Student Representatives 2015

If you have an informal query or wish to convey your views about EASTBIO to the Management Group, you may prefer contacting a student rep, based at your local institution.

Our 2015 student representatives are...

For Aberdeen:

Svetlozara Chobanova

Personal note:

Hello! My name is Ara and I have just started my PhD, based at the Institute of Medical Science, University of Aberdeen. I am Bulgarian, moved to the UK in 2011 to pursue my dreams to become a Geneticist.  I did my BSc in Genetics (Immunology) at the University of Aberdeen, where I am currently doing my PhD.

I am working with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, using them as system in which I am trying to express orthogonal translation initiation factors coupled with the expression of specific messenger RNAs. I am aiming to control translation initiation in baker’s yeast, to be able to direct it to specific messenger RNAs of interest.

Apart from science, my other passions include live music, concerts, festivals, etc. I am a proud classical/postmodern literature lover and I also have been rewarded with the 3rd Kyu level in Kyokushin karate.

Reserve: Jacob Hargreaves

For Dundee:

Scott McCrimmon

Personal note:
Hi! I'm Scott, a PhD student in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Dundee - based at the James Hutton Institute.

My project seeks to identify and understand the genetic basis of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in barley. Transgenic plants are vital for functional genomics research in order to identify the genes responsible for desirable traits in crops, however in many plant species transformation is limited to one or a select few varieties. I'll be screening a large population of crosses between a transformable barley variety and a non-transformable variety and comparing the results to SNP data in order to (hopefully!) identify and subsequently characterize the genes that underlie transformability. This information could help us to refine the current transformation methods or to design new ways to transform and analyze previously recalcitrant plants, including many agriculturally important varieties.

When I'm not messing around with plants I enjoy playing music with family and friends, wood-carving and generally learning how to make and build things. I'm also interested in science communication and public engagement - I've started a wee blog to that effect, hosted on my supervisor's website here.

I'm the rep for the 2015 Dundee cohort so if you've any problems or anything you want to say, good or bad, let me know.

Reserve: Stephanie Laba

For Edinburgh, CMVM:

Emily Parr
Personal note
Hi! My PhD is based at the Roslin Institute, in the department of infection and immunity. I did my BSc in biology at Imperial College London and then did an MSc at the London school of hygiene and tropical medicine before moving to Edinburgh for my PhD. The aim is to characterize the molecular interaction between macrophages and the the bacteria staphylococcus aureus. Outside of the lab I enjoy healthy amounts of netflix, socialising and exploring cities. Feel free to get in touch if you have any suggestions/problems or just want a chat!


Benjamin Moore

Georgia Longmoor

For Edinburgh, SBS:

Oscar MacLean
Personal note:

After doing a BA in Natural Sciences in Cambridge I've moved up north to do my PhD based in King's Buildings at the University of Edinburgh. I'm looking at Plasmodium genomes and trying to find where adaptive evolution has occurred in human malaria species to see what recent evolution has resulted in a gorilla parasite now infecting humans. Understanding this may give clues towards future treatments and predicting future host shifts of parasites. I'm also interested in more general questions about genome evolution such as looking at substitution rates and what the relative roles are of selection or mutation in the evolution of a DNA sequence.

When I'm not working at my computer I like to play rugby or get out and explore the countryside.
I'm more than happy to answer any questions or pass any feedback on.

For St Andrews:

Selma Gulyurtlu
Personal note
Hello! My name is Selma and I’m Portuguese and Turkish. I did the International Baccalaureate in Lisbon, Portugal, focusing my Highers mainly in Biology and Chemistry. I moved to the UK because I had enough of the heat and wanted to experience living in an English Speaking country. I knew I wanted to be a Biological Researcher from the time I interned in a Tissue Engineering lab in Ankara, Turkey. Having completed my Undergraduate Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Dundee, I am now doing my PhD in Cell Biology at the University of St Andrews. Our project focuses on mRNA processing and localisation, where we are looking at Neuromuscular Disease models, such as Myotonic Dystrophy. In my spare time, as well as socialising, I am a Theatre and Musical enthusiast, as well as being very sporty. I am also a Basketball player and work for BasketballScotland as a Referee and Table Official for National League. I am open to any and every query about anything, so please do not hesitate to contact me!

For details of the 2014 student reps, who will be helping out, click here.