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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Student voices: presenting at a conference

Our Student Voices series gives our students a chance to blog about life at QMUL's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. This edition is written by Jemma Mary Brett, third year Zoology student, who recently presented at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR).


Back in December, I was lucky enough to secure funding from the Annual Fund at Queen Mary University of London to attend the British Conference of Undergraduate Research 2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University. I really wanted to attend the conference to improve my presentation skills and to meet and discuss a wide variety of research projects with students from different universities.

Having never visited Manchester, I was very excited to go to a new place to discuss my research and to meet lots of new people. The conference was held in the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University and lasted for two days. On both days, the delegates presented their research through talks or posters and we were able to ask questions about their research. Everyone was very enthusiastic about their research and the quality of the talks and posters were fantastic.

On the first day I presented my findings from my final year research project, which looked at human-directed behaviour by goats in a problem-solving task. This study is important because the results present the first evidence for referential and intentional communication in livestock, which provides a deeper insight into their socio-cognitive capacities. Furthermore, the study allows for the improvement of livestock husbandry and welfare because attitudes to animals are linked to their cognitive abilities. On the second day, I was able to attend some really interesting talks from diverse disciplines (policing and criminal investigation, forensic science, mathematics and tourism management, to name but a few).

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the conference because the talks and posters were very interesting and it was a fantastic opportunity to meet other people studying a wide variety of degrees. I would really encourage students to present their research at such a fantastic conference (especially as the next one is by the sea)!
Find out more about BCUR, which will be held at Bournemouth University in 2017.

Alternatively, contact Julian Ingle from the Learning Development Team for more information.

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