International award for bringing biology to wider audience

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Oxford Brookes' Dr Anne Osterrieder has been awarded the Society for Experimental Biology's (SEB) prestigious President's Medal in recognition for her work in increasing public understanding of biology.

Oxford Brookes' Dr Anne Osterrieder has been awarded the Society for Experimental Biology's (SEB) prestigious President's Medal in recognition for her work in increasing public understanding of biology.  

The SEB is the leading international society promoting experimental research in biology and its President's Medals are awarded annually to scientists of outstanding merit, normally within 10 years of obtaining their PhD.

Just four President's Medals are handed out each year by the SEB to scientists from across the globe. The awarding of a medal for Education and Public Affairs has only recently been introduced by the SEB and Anne will become the fourth scientist in the world who has received this accolade.

As outreach coordinator for the Oxford Brookes' Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Anne is involved with a large number of public and online engagements which help to raise awareness of plant cell biology and have been recognised with this award.

As well as updating followers through Twitter (@AnneOsterrieder) and on her website - www.plantcellbiology.com - Anne has created a number of innovative animated science videos in collaboration with musicians which help to raise interest in plant cell biology and have been viewed tens of thousands of times. An example of one these educational videos can be seen below.

 

Anne's outreach also includes the annual Brookes' Science Bazaar (held this year on 17 March 2012) which makes the world of science fun for all the family. Further projects in 2012 include a partnership with Oxford's Pegasus Youth Theatre Project in May and the 'International Fascination of Plants Day” on 18 May in collaboration with the University of Oxford's Botanic Garden.

Anne said: 'It is a real honour to receive the President's Medal from the SEB. I am passionate about making our research more accessible, understandable and interesting for everyone. Alongside my dedicated research into plant cells, I am really keen to share interesting, funny and entertaining content about plant cell biology, plant sciences and science in general with a wider audience.”

'Creative ways to inspire'

Dr Jeremy Pritchard, Chair for the Education and Public Affairs Section at the SEB commented: 'The SEB is very pleased to award Dr Anne Osterrieder with our much coveted President's Medal for Education and Public Affairs. Whilst Anne's research focuses at the sub-cellular level, she is developing creative ways to inspire school students and the public with her science communication activities. Anne is innovative in using social media to get her message across using social networking, videos, blogging and her website is particularly impressive.”

Anne, who is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant working in Professor Chris Hawes' group in Plant Cell Biology at Oxford Brookes, will be presented with her medal for Education and Public Affairs by the Society's President at the SEB's Annual Meeting in Salzburg in June 2012.

Anne's current research is focused on studying the formation and structural maintenance of the plant Golgi apparatus which processes, distributes and stores a wide range of important proteins such as storage proteins in cereal grains or proteins involved in plant stress responses.

More information on Oxford Brookes' Faculty of Health and Life Sciences is available online.