First recipient of Dr Maia Strachan prize announced

Rebecca Grieve with Maia's parents, Roddy and Abi Strachan

Dr Maia Strachan & Dr Paul Kingston

Dr Maia Strachan with Dr Paul Kingston, retired Lecturer in Marine Biology, and Maia's PhD supervisor

Life Sciences student Rebecca Grieve has become the first recipient of the Dr Maia Strachan prize, established in memory of Heriot-Watt University graduate Dr Strachan by her parents.

26 year old Maia and her brother, 28 year old Captain Michael Strachan, from Aberdeen, were killed in a car accident near Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire last November. She graduated with a BSc in Applied Marine Biology from Heriot-Watt in June 2005, and continued at the School of Life Sciences to graduate with a PhD in Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology in June 2010.

Heriot-Watt was a huge part of Maia's life and we wanted to show our appreciation of that

Abi and Roddy Strachan

The Dr Maia Strachan Prize will be awarded annually to the student with the best Honours dissertation in Applied Marine Biology. The winner is awarded a silver medal and a cash prize.

Making the first annual award, Maia's parents, Abi and Roddy Strachan said: "Heriot-Watt was a huge part of Maia's life and we wanted to show our appreciation of that. Maia was a very practical student, and practical skills are important in the world of applied marine biology. We wanted to encourage and recognise such skills in her fellow students and we hope the prize will give a helping hand to Rebecca who is, as Maia was, just setting out on her working life."

I am very proud to have been given this award in Maia's name

Rebecca Grieve

Rebecca, who graduated with a first class honours BSc in Applied Marine Biology and whose dissertation was on the effects of the exposure of blue mussels to oilfield chemicals, said: "I did meet Maia and I am very proud to have been given this award in her name. It's a lovely recognition of achievement and hard work, for myself and for future recipients of the prize."