Student representatives 2018-2019

If you have an informal query or wish to convey your views about the EASTBIO programme to the Management Group, you may prefer to contact directly your local student representatives - first year students who have generously volunteered to represent their local constituencies.

The current EASTBIO student representatives, from the first-year cohort, are assisted in their roles by the second-year representatives (as well as the EASTBIO DTP Administrator) during their first year. Click on the name to send an email any of the student reps!

Our first-year student representatives are...

For Aberdeen:
Ana Rozman

Project: "Neural mechanisms of colour appearance across the lifespan" (World Class Underpinning Bioscience)

Hi! I am Ana Rozman, a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, School of Psychology. My project is based in studies of human visual perception, looking at how the human visual system ages, specifically in terms of colour appearance. As a result of biological aging, multiple physiological changes are occurring throughout the visual system, predicting there should be a difference in how colour appears throughout lifespan. Those changes are, however, present to a lesser extent than expected. My aim is to improve the understanding of compensatory neural colour mechanisms, using a combination of psychophysical and electroencephalography (EEG) methods.

Before starting my PhD, I have completed a BA Hons in Film and Media with Psychology at the University of Stirling. When not at my PhD desk, I am preferably travelling, meeting new people and watching loads of good films.

Reserves for Aberdeen:
Amy Lauren Cooper
Project title: "Elucidating the Honey Bee Immune Response and Pathogen Transmission at Varroa Mite Feeding Sites" (Agriculture and Food Security)

Hello! I’m a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen based in the School of Biological Sciences. My project focuses on the bite site that the Varroa mite creates on the honey bee. I’ll be investigating the immune response and deformed wing virus titres in that area. I’ll also be working with colleagues at the Institute of Medical Sciences in order to look at changes in local histology. Not only will I be learning lots of new techniques in the lab but in order to collect honey bee and Varroa samples I will have to become a beekeeper! Before starting my PhD I completed my undergraduate in Zoology with Microbiology at Aberystwyth University and then my MSc in Biomedical Science at the University of Chester. When I’m not working I like to spend time outside trying to spot different kinds of wildlife, working on little craft projects and dancing.  

Twitter: @_doe_a_deer

Alysha Knight
Project title: "The roots of soil and food security" (Agriculture and Food Security)
Personal note: Hi! I am a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen and I am based in the School of Biological Sciences. My project is about understanding the mechanisms behind how crop roots interact with soil to extract nutrients and change the physical and chemical properties of the soil. The aim is to establish how we can manipulate root: soil interactions to increase arable agricultural productivity and sustainability (e.g. reducing fertiliser usage, relieving soil compaction, increasing the nutritious quality of crops). Before starting my PhD, I completed my MBiolSci in Biological sciences at the University of Sheffield, where I specialised in palaeobiology. Outside of my PhD, I enjoy spending time with friends and travelling to new places around the world as well as other hobbies such as walking and sewing.

Cameron Malcolm
Project title: "Uncovering the pharmacology of a novel receptor target for age-related macular degeneration" (Bioscience for Health/CASE)

For Dundee:
Margarita Kalamara
Project title: "Biofilm matrix assembly by Bacillus subtilis" (Industrial Biotechnology & Bioenergy)

Reserve for Dundee:
Neil Thomson
: "The role of ion and proton transfer for the activation of GPCRs" (World Class Underpinning Bioscience)

For Edinburgh - College of Science & Engineering:

Liat Adler
Project title: "Developing a deep learning-based 3D imaging platform for tracking and modelling whole plant growth responses to environmental and chemical stresses" (Agriculture and Food Security)

I have joined Alistair McCormick’s lab at the University of Edinburgh. Here, I will be developing a low-cost imaging method to automatically track plant growth. This could be used by farmers of all backgrounds to monitor their crops and improve yields. My background is largely biochemical having studied a BA in Natural Sciences followed by an MSci in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge. My current project will combine molecular and physiological work with computation which I am looking forward to.

When I’m not in the lab I enjoy climbing, acrobatics and pole dancing which I do both competitively and for fun. Now that I am in a new city I am keen to find some new activities to try!

Reserves for Edinburgh - CSE & Chemistry:
Samuel Joseph Haynes
Project title
: "Model-based machine learning of multi-omics data" (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning)

Kiani Aliyah Jeacock
Project title
: "Understanding the role of post-translational modification in age-related protein aggregation" (Bioscience for Health)

For St Andrews:
Rebecca Maguire
Project title: "Attention and camouflage in three dimensions" (World Class Underpinning Bioscience)
Personal note: My PhD project is based at the University of St Andrews, under the supervision of Prof. Julie Harris. Prior to this, my work at the University of Bristol (during my BSc and MRes) focused on how animals utilise various types of patterning to camouflage themselves in the eyes of those who want to eat them, i.e. distorting predator perception. While this work was done in a 2-Dimensional setting, animals in the real world are (obviously) seen in 3-Dimensions. Therefore, I’m currently focused on how we attend to objects in depth, and hoping to use this information to better make predictions about camouflage strategies and mechanisms. For example, can predator ability to discern depth hamper camouflage strategies previously found effective in 2D paradigms? And can we gain insight into the best ways to fool perception if we gain better understanding of how we see things in the 3D world? These questions, among others, will be the cornerstones of my PhD project.

TL;DR: Cool patterns on 3D stuff can probably fool your gullible brain. Don’t beat yourself up about it though, it happens to the best of us. Even eagles.

For details of our second-year student reps, click here.