Heriot-Watt students were announced as winner and runner-up at the third annual P1 Marine Foundation National Student Awards at the Royal Society in London.
The Awards evening celebrated students in higher education whose projects help to provide solutions to the threats to the marine and coastal environment and provided the winning students with the opportunity to showcase their projects to a diverse audience of business executives, charities, government representatives and the media.
The evening began with a keynote speech from Miranda Krestovnikoff, a presenter on BBC Television’s ‘Coast’ programme and ‘One Show’, who highlighted the importance of student research for the future of marine conservation.
The winning entry came from Flora Kent, who is studying for a PhD in Marine Ecology at Heriot-Watt. Her project on the use of ecosystem services to support conservation of shellfish reefs was selected by the judging panel because they felt she was an excellent candidate who was fully prepared to think outside the ‘academic box’ in order to achieve conservation objectives. Flora was presented with a special trophy, a cheque for £1,000, a Sony Xperia waterproof smartphone and membership of IMarEST.
Clara Mackenzie from Heriot-Watt University, whose project focused on the vulnerability of modiolus modiolus reefs to climate change, was announced as one of two runners up.
The P1 Marine Foundation’s activities focus on awareness and education with the field of marine conservation, particularly amongst the younger age group, and are supported by The Crown Estate, IMarEST, Sony and the Marine Conservation Society.