School of Geography

Geographers representing QMUL at British Conference of Undergraduate Research

4 May 2017

The British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) celebrates undergraduate research from across all disciplines, welcoming students from all over the country presenting papers, posters, workshops and performances. This year the conference was held at Bournemouth University on 25-26 April and was attended by QMUL Geography's own Mishma Abraham, Lloyd Milner and Koh Yi Thong.

Geographer Lloyd Milner presenting at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR).

Lloyd and Koh are both third-year BSc Geographers at QMUL. Their dissertation research involved the reconstruction of Middle Pleistocene palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental conditions – using ostracods. They delivered a joint oral presentation at the conference entitled ‘How Do Interglacials End? The story told by ostracods at Marks Tey, Essex’. Here is what Koh had to say about the conference:

Geography student Koh Yi Thong (right) explains findings of the joint research project at the BCUR at Bournemouth University.

The opportunity to attend the British Conference of Undergraduate Research at Bournemouth University immensely broadened my intellectual horizons through the multifarious range of undergraduate research projects from various disciplines that were presented. While Lloyd and myself made every effort to ensure that our presentation was well-rehearsed, delivered within time constraints and disseminated the most significant findings from our Independent Geographical Study (IGS) projects, the experience of presenting our research at BCUR highlighted that beyond enthusiasm and eloquence, being able to meaningfully interact with fellow students and share our findings in an understandable manner appropriate to fellow students from a myriad of research interests and backgrounds was especially vital.

The multi-disciplinary audience also made me truly appreciate the importance of being able to communicate one’s specialist research in the form of accessible information understood by the general public, as it was in the case of our presentation on ostracods and interglacials that non-specialists would have found daunting to comprehend at first glance!

Participating at BCUR 2017 has offered me an outstanding platform to take my IGS beyond the confines of QMUL and share my research with a wider community of aspiring undergraduate scholars. I am also extremely humbled to represent the School of Geography at this annual, prestigious national research conference. I would definitely encourage future geographers and environmental scientists from the School to present their work at BCUR and immerse themselves in the incredibly diverse, intellectually stimulating environment that one would certainly stand to gain!”

Environmental science student Mishma Abraham presenting a poster on the importance of urban forests.

Final-year environmental science student Mishma Abraham also attended the conference where she presented a poster about the importance of urban forests. “It was a wonderful experience taking part in BCUR and highly encourage students to apply for it next year! Not only do you get a wonderful weekend experience in the pretty coastal city of Bournemouth, but you also get to meet fellow researchers and academics from different universities across the UK,” said Mishma. “It was also amazing to see the variety of research projects that were on display in the form of posters and presentations. Learning about silent cinemas in contemporary films, quantifying lava flows using GIS, bio-luminescence in marine organisms were just a few talks that I attended but really opened my eyes to how limitless scientific research can be,” she added.

Professor Dave Horne, who supervised Lloyd and Koh's research project and accompanied the students to the conference said: “It was a fantastic experience - over 400 undergraduates from UK universities attended. The high quality of the oral presentations and posters, and of the research that these were based on, made it easy to forget that these were undergraduates and not PhD students.”

More information: