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Image: Still Moving Media

International Final 2019

The 2019 FameLab International final was held in front of a live audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival. The judges included Dr Beth Healey (Medical doctor; formerly worked in Antarctica at Concordia Station, and at the European Space Agency) Professor Mark Lythgoe (Founder and Director of the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, University College London) and Dr Aarathi Prasad (Research Associate at the Institute of Global Health, University College London)

Hosted by broadcaster Quentin Cooper, this year’s finals featured contestants from 25 different countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Thailand and the UK.

Tim Gordon, marine biology PhD student from the UK, was crowned the 2019 FameLab International Champion at the Cheltenham Science Festival on 6 June. This is the first time the UK representative has become the FameLab International Winner since the competition went global through a partnership with the British Council in 2007.

Tim is a PhD student in the bioscience department at the University of Exeter. His winning talk focused on the impacts of climate change on coral reefs, and research ‘listening’ to and recording the sounds of a reef to help protect the beauty and value of ocean ecosystems. He convinced the judges through his engaging presence on stage, fine storytelling skills and his clarity of content. Tim also won over the audience at Cheltenham Town Hall to secure the audience prize.

FameLab has been a great chance to meet inspiring people who are doing and communicating wonderful research around the world. Learning from each other, encouraging each other and building networks that will last into the future has been a brilliant experience, and one that I’ve been very lucky to be a part of.

Tim Gordon, FameLab International Winner 2019

Two runner-up places were awarded to: Athira Menon from the University of Amsterdam representing Netherlands, and Keneilwe Moropa from Tshwane University of Technology representing South Africa.