Students at Bournemouth University (BU) took part in the second SURE BU conference, designed to showcase undergraduate research at BU.
Around 50 students took part in the conference, presenting their research to a judging panel of academic experts who awarded prizes for the best poster, best presentation and research excellence. The contributions were of an extremely high level and demonstrated the depth and breadth of undergraduate research at BU.
Winner of the research excellence prize, Rosie Lumley, presented a poster based on her research into malnutrition. Rosie’s poster clearly explained the signs and symptoms of malnutrition and what to do if you think you might be at risk. Rosie was awarded a funded place on a Master’s programme at BU.
Commenting on her achievement, Rosie said, “I’m grateful and overwhelmed to have won SURE BU 2016! I have a long held interest in nutrition for the over 65s ever since working as a carer for the elderly and seeing first hand just how important good food is to an individual and the impact it can have on their health and quality of life.”
“I undertook a placement with Dorset County Council working with ‘POPP’ Partnership for Older People Programme in 2015, where they asked me to design a poster highlighting the signs and symptoms of malnutrition and what to do if someone you know might be suffering,” continued Rosie, “Malnutrition is highest in people over 65 living in the community, so it was to be directly targeted at them with the intention of displaying it in GP surgeries, community halls and day centres.”
“Preventing malnutrition or early intervention is essential to reversing potentially serious health and quality of life issues for an individual and is also one of the most effective cost saving strategies for our healthcare system,” explained Rosie, “My interest in this field continues to grow and I dearly hope to be able to continue learning, researching and working in this area for the foreseeable future.”
Christopher Dwen won the best poster award for a poster based on his undergraduate dissertation research into blood spatter at crime scenes.
“Tracks and spots produced by flies during the process of blood feeding can cause confusion at crime scenes, because the patterns can often mimic other bloodstain patterns,” explained Christopher, “I designed an experiment involving common houseflies (Musca domestica), which showed that over 13,000 blood artefacts were created by just a handful of insects. It’s easy to see how that can cause confusion.”
“I am now carrying out this research on a wider scale for my Master’s degree at BU,” continued Christopher, “I am very excited about the future prospects of this research, as it has serious potential to inform, and perhaps rewrite certain aspects of police protocol in the UK.”
Charlotte Fodor, an undergraduate English student, won the prize for best presentation. Charlotte’s research explores representations of disabled people in dystopian literature.
“I wanted to research this area, because I noticed that there’s a lack of information about disability studies in humanities,” said Charlotte, “Representations in literature tend to reflect the world we live and informs people’s opinions too.”
“My research showed that disabled people are often represented in a negative, one-dimensional way, which reduces their characters and personalities to their impairment, meaning they often lack substance,” continued Charlotte, “It’s something that needs to change, as my research shows there is a lack of positive role models for disabled people in literature.”
SURE BU will return in 2018, as next year Bournemouth University will be hosting the annual British Conference of Undergraduate Research, where undergraduates from all over the country will come together to present their research.