Student success in Botanical University Challenge


A team of Biological Sciences undergraduate and postgraduate students have been crowned runners-up in the UK inter-university Botanical University Challenge 2019.

Undergraduates Tracey Houghton, Jesse McCarthy and Tom Lang along with postgraduate research student Toby Irving – team ‘LiverLambBanana’ – came second in a very close final, being crowned runners-up only after two deciding tie-breaker questions.

Tough competition

They beat off tough competition from the University of Southampton and Manchester Metropolitan University in the initial knock-out round and the semi-final before taking on the University of Reading in the final.

First held at Kew Gardens in 2016, the event sees University teams compete for the coveted trophy by answering questions on plant-related topics.

Commenting on the competition their coach, Dr Meriel Jones from the Institute of Integrative Biology, said: “Fitting with the University theme of Starting well, living well and ageing well, plants are high on the agenda at the moment and are part of an area that is being expanded in the University’s research.”

“We try to give our students as many opportunities as possible to meet up with peers at other universities, not only to enhance their specialist interests, but also to expand their networks for their future careers. This is a perfect example of that kind of opportunity and I am so proud of Team LiverLambBanana. They did a brilliant job getting to the final of this tough competition – it is a credit to them and a real achievement.”

The Botanical University Challenge next year, in 2020, will be held at University of Liverpool.

Leave a comment