Staffordshire University’s Biological Science Students Visit Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Staffordshire University’s biological science students have just returned from Finland’s picturesque city of Tampere – following the indulgence of some great Finnish cuisine, amazing views across lake Pyhäjärvi, and a VERY hot sauna. Aside from Tampere’s strong devotion to art and conserving the natural environment, Tampere is home to vast biological facilities; focusing on the advancement of science and the attainment of a sustainable future. After touring TAMK’s research facilities it is no surprise the university is considered one of the largest multidisciplinary universities in Finland – offering students a vast range of opportunities. Continue reading

Big Biology Day 2019 – The planning has commenced!

As the planning for BBD19 gets underway we wanted to take the opportunity to remind ourselves of the feedback that the attendees and exhibitors left for us at Big Biology Day 2018 to see what worked well and what we can improve for next year.

Last year’s event was a big success with over 500 people in attendance to see the stands and participate in the workshops and activities.

Feedback from the visitors was overwhelmingly positive,

here are just a few of the open comments we received from visitors:

  • “It’s been a great day, enjoyed it. Very informative”
  • “An excellent idea for children to attend and foster their love of science.”
  • “1 a month would be awesome (though probably impossible)”

It’s great getting feedback like this, and the middle feedback quote represents the ethos of the whole event really well. Unfortunately, if we tried to implement the last request we’d never get anything else done!

We did note that some in attendance would have liked better on campus signage, so we’ll work on making sure that we do that better for the 2019 event.

Overall Big Biology Day 2018 was a resounding success with more attendees than ever before.


Looking forward to BBD19 we’re gearing up to make this bigger and better than ever before. We’ll be continuing with the Great Biology Bake Off and our many and varied stands, activities and workshops. We already know that we’ll have new content that has not been seen before and there’s even a rumour about having a program of talks in the big lecture theatres.

Whilst we can’t spill the beans just now, we’ll add new blog entries as we confirm the event details.


Biological Sciences and Education students visit The Netherlands

Our Biological Sciences and Education students have just returned from an action-packed visit to Radboud University in Nijmegen. Radboud University is a student-centered university in The Netherlands, active in almost all scientific fields and with a large Education department. The University benefits from an ‘open climate’ and inspiring environment.

Biological Sciences students spent two days at Radboud visiting their fantastic laboratory facilities including greenhouses and root labs, animal ecology and physiology departments and the University’s zebra fish facility. Students participated in practical laboratory activities including extracting DNA from wastewater samples; discussing their different approaches and methods employed. Continue reading

Biological Sciences students visit Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona

Our Biological Science students have just returned from an action-packed visit to Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona, the most cosmopolitan city in Spain.  After touring the campus, attending lectures and experiencing life as a student at UPF it is easy to see why this university made it to the number one spot in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for a Spanish university.

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Why mosquitoes bite some people more than others

Dr Richard Halfpenny, Lecturer in Biological Sciences, writes for The Conversation.

Surprisingly few of the more than 3,000 mosquito species actually specialise in biting humans. Instead, most are opportunistic feeders – feeding when they are able and from lots of different sources. But Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae are well known for their preference for human blood and their role as vectors which transmit disease in humans. Ae. aegypti has been linked to zika and dengue, while An. gambiae carries the parasite which causes malaria.

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Advice from a student parent

Right okay, so as we already know being a parent is a hard task. Its life consuming having a miniature human entirely reliant on you, then add in looking after yourself and having some form of your own life and you’ve got a full time job on your hands; and that’s without actually taking into consideration the actual job you need to do in order to fund their ever growing appetite and clothe their tiny bodies that don’t EVER seem to stop growing. Continue reading

STEM for Britain

On Monday the 12th of March I was lucky enough to go to the STEM for Britain awards in the Houses of Parliament, London. This was an event with the intention of facilitating young researchers to share their findings with members of parliament and leaders of scientific organisations and other research institutions with the hope of influencing policy makers by providing information with real scientific evidence to back it up. Continue reading

Got Connections?

March was a busy month for the Biological Sciences team. It started with Ian Davies and Dr Angela Priestman attending the Chief Scientific Officer’s annual conference at the Royal Society in London which brings together scientists and industry experts from all disciplines to discuss the application of science in healthcare. For us, the highlight of this event was being presented with the Chief Scientific Officer’s award for “Excellence in Education Delivery” by HRH The Princess Royal and Professor Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England. Obviously we are tremendously proud to have received this national accolade, but more so because it reflects our close connections with employers and the importance we place on working with professions to develop learning and teaching that meets their future needs. Continue reading

Placement Power

In this post our Level 6 student, Sophie Barlow, discusses the power of the placement.

When I was at school my interest to study Biomedical Science was confirmed by a week’s placement work experience at a NHS hospital. At the time I was unclear about what I wanted to study, but knew that I wanted to work in a laboratory. I was given some advice from a Biomedical Scientist who told me a degree that was accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS) was what I need to achieve in order to work in a NHS Laboratory. This led me to a small number of universities that actually offer IBMS accredited Biomedical Science degrees and eventually I chose a Biomedical Science award at Staffordshire University. Continue reading