STEM Lecture Series

These online sessions aim to give students a better understanding of some of the topics they would learn about in a STEM degree at Leeds and inspire them to go onto further study in these subjects. It will provide students with up-to-date information about the university and our courses.

Below you will find a list of the first series of sessions, individual students can register their interest in taking part here.

Series 1

The first series of sessions will take place weekly online, every Wednesday from 24th Feb - 31st March 2021, 4.15pm - 5.15pm. This series is aimed at students interested in areas relating to Biology and/or Chemistry. The first three sessions relate to the environment and the last three are around the subject of health, however these talks will illustrate how areas of STEM overlap, and how scientists from different disciplines work together on a range of projects.


24/02/2021 – Feeding the Future: Protecting Crops & Ecosystems

Food demand is expected to increase anywhere between 59% to 98% by 2050. This will shape agricultural markets in ways we have not seen before. In this session, Chemical Engineer Charlotte Pugsley will explain how research into RNA pesticides can potentially help to increase agricultural yield without damaging ecosystems. Charlotte will look at how RNA technology harnesses gene functions to kill pests, make the links between chemistry, microbiology and engineering and answer your questions about studying chemistry, chemical engineering and undertaking industrial work placements.

Charlotte, who graduated with an MSc in Chemistry, is now studying a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Leeds. Her research is sponsored by Syngenta, a leading global provider of agricultural science and technology.

This session has now ended, you can watch a recording here.

03/03/2021 – Environmental Reconstruction

Explore the fascinating world of marine science with Grace, a PhD researcher from our school of earth and environment. In this session we’ll aim to reconstruct a past environment using microfossils called planktonic foraminifera. All these species can be identified through a combination of morphological traits (e.g. the presence of spines), and geochemical data of each species can be used to locate where these organisms were living e.g. estuary, open ocean, etc, and at what time in geological history they were alive.

The session will show how all organisms live within communities and that each community thrives in a habitat with specific environmental conditions. You will also learn how geochemical properties change within different areas of the marine environment and that this can be used to locate where organisms are living.

This session has now ended, you can watch a recording here.

10/03/2021 – Designing The Chemical Solution

From agriculture to medicine, energy to sustainability, it is clear that chemistry is essential for tackling the major global challenges facing the world. But how does an individual chemist contribute? And what is the importance of creativity and design in finding chemical solutions? Join Dr Jenny Eyley as she explores how one class of porous materials captured the imagination of the chemistry world, being used to clean up the atmosphere, promote greener fuels, generate clean drinking water, prevent food waste and much more.

17/03/2021 – Real Food Heroes: A Dive Into Nutrition Science

What is Nutrition? What are the study and work possibilities in the area of Nutritional Sciences? Is there more to Nutrition than just food and drink? This session will comprise a mini lecture that will highlight what a university degree can offer in the area of Nutritional Sciences. By the end of this session, you should have a better understanding of the importance of this topic and possibly have an idea of where your interests can fit in the field of Nutrition. You will be joined by Dr Carolyn Auma, a Teaching Fellow in Food and Nutritional Biochemistry at the School of Food Science and Nutrition, as well as Food Science students studying at the University of Leeds.

This session has now ended, you can watch a recording here.

24/03/2021 – What Is Sport & Exercise Science?

What does it mean to study and work in the area of Sport and Exercise Sciences? Is it just working with elite athletes like Mo Farah at the Olympics or is there more behind Sport and Exercise Sciences? This session will include mini-lectures, interactive breakouts, and what a university degree offers in the area of Sport and Exercise Sciences to help you understand the importance of this topic. You will be joined by Dr Scott Bowen, an Exercise Physiologist in the School of Biomedical Sciences, as well as Sport Science students studying at the University of Leeds. Learn a little bit more about Scott here.

This session has now ended, you can watch a recording here.

31/03/2021 – Antibiotic Resistance: Our Fight Against Superbugs

Antibiotic Resistance currently poses an ‘apocalyptic’ threat to global health. The world urgently needs to change the way it prescribes and uses antibiotics to avoid entering a post-antibiotic era. In this presentation Merianne Mohamad, PhD candidate studying Antibiotic Resistance mechanisms, will talk you through antibiotic resistance research happening at the University of Leeds and how you can help with the fight against superbugs. Learn a little bit more about Merianne here.

This session has now ended, you can watch a recording here.