Science Shorts is a blog by University of Bristol science students with input from science writer Brian Clegg and senior teaching fellow Phil Langton.

We’ve all enjoyed a Pint of Science – now it’s time to knock back some Science Shorts.

We welcome contributions from students and staff in the Faculty of Life Sciences: see the Contributor info page to find out how.

The site is edited by students from the faculty.

Meet our editors

Amina Hussein-Jama (Junior Editor)

Amina Hussein-Jama is a first year Anatomy student at the University of Bristol. She enjoys exploring the intricate details of the human body and has a particular interest in female sexual and reproductive medicine. At the end of the degree, she hopes to continue further study in Human Anatomy.

Ashley Chow (Junior Editor)

Ashley is in her first year studying physiological sciences. She enjoys learning about physiology, particularly learning about the cardiovascular system and attending her anatomy practicals. Her plan after completing her degree is to continue her studies within the scientific field.


Emily Rowlands (Junior Editor)

Emily Rowlands is a first year Biomedical Sciences student at the University of Bristol. She enjoys the engaging content taught on this course, with an interest in pursuing further units in pharmacology. At the end of the degree, she hopes to find a career either in biomedical research or in forensic sciences.


Heather Clark (Junior Editor)

Heather is a first year Biomedical Sciences student at the University of Bristol. She is interested in human health, with a particular focus towards neuroscience. She also loves nature and learning about animal interactions. At the end of her degree, she wishes to either pursue a career in science communication or continue with further study.


Lauren Vane (Junior Editor)

Lauren is currently a first year Biology student at Bristol. After volunteering with a wildlife conservation team in Africa, she is now interested in pursuing a career focused on conservation and behavioural ecology.

Nadin Szabo (Junior Editor)

Nadin is a first year Neuroscience student at the University of Bristol. She enjoys learning via hands-on activities, such as neuroanatomy practicals, and discussing lecture content with fellow students. She would love to pursue a medical career after completing her current degree.


Amy Preston (Senior Editor)

Amy studies Biomedical Science at the University of Bristol and is currently in her second year. She particularly enjoys pharmacology and intends to further her studies after her undergraduate degree, with a view to pursuing a career in research.


Annabel Ross (Senior Editor)

As a second year Biomedical Science student, Annabel is enjoying the diversity of the course and has found lectures on haematology particularly engaging. Her plan is to continue studying after her undergraduate degree.


Bethan Henderson (Senior Editor)

Bethan is a second year Biology student at the University of Bristol and is particularly interested in conservation and ecology. A recent internship with WWF has inspired her hopes of pursuing a career in wildlife conservation, potentially with environmental NGOs.


Harry Dyer (Senior Editor)

Harry is studying Neuroscience at Bristol and is interested in the pathologies of the central nervous system. He is currently in his second year, enjoying topics on the pharmacology of the nervous system. He hopes to continue studying after he graduates.


Iona Marshall (Senior Editor)

Iona is particularly interested in developmental neuroscience and how it can be applied in education. She hopes to help reform the education system using scientific research after finishing her degree in neuroscience at the University of Bristol, where she is currently in her first year.


Brian Clegg

Brian read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and gained an MA in Operational Research at Lancaster University. From Lancaster, he joined British Airways, originally working in OR and later forming a new department tasked with developing hi-tech solutions for the airline. Brian now concentrates on writing popular science books, with topics ranging from infinity to time machines. He gives regular talks and has contributed to radio and TV programmes. Brian’s website is www.brianclegg.net and he edits the www.popularscience.co.uk book review site.

Phil Langton

Phil read Biological Sciences at Lancaster University and continued to study smooth muscle physiology for a Ph.D. He did post-doctoral work in the universities of Nevada (Reno, USA) and Leicester before being appointed in Bristol as a lecturer in physiology in 1995. Phil’s teaching role covers several topics and groups of students (physiologists, biomedical scientists, medics, vets and dentists). In recent years he has become very interested in the link between diet and health, particularly the impact of sugar, and carbohydrate more generally.
Part of his role involves a close collaboration with the Careers Service to promote the development of key graduate skills. Writing is not only a key skill expected of graduates, it is also a powerful learning tool and there is nothing quite effective as deliberate practice to drive improvement in any skill. The Bristol Science Shorts blog provides an opportunity for contributors to engage others in topics they care about and develop their writing at the same time.