Careers Roadshow for Life Sciences

Come along to our Science Careers Roadshow on March 17th, 12-3pm in Joseph Banks Laboratories, First Floor and JBL3c01.

This event is dedicated solely to the Schools of Life Sciences, Chemistry and Pharmacy and hosted by the University of Lincoln’s Careers & Employability team.

Don’t miss out on information on:

•             Careers & Employability information

•             CV Session – 1-2pm, JBL3Co1

•             Postgraduate Information

•             Latest graduate opportunities

•             Placements and internships

•             Printed careers material


Inspiring the next generation of scientists

A giant planetarium, mock crime scene investigation, a special lecture by a TV wildlife expert and the chance to get up close with some reptiles are just some of the activities planned by the University of Lincoln as part of a national festival of science.

National Science and Engineering Week (NSEW) from 14th to 23rd March is a ten-day nationwide celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, with events and activities aimed at people of all ages.

The University of Lincoln is opening its doors to the public, with a variety of activities on offer for anyone with an interest in science.

Organiser Dr Ciara Casey, from the School of Life Sciences, said: “The University of Lincoln has a world-class reputation for innovation and scientific enterprise. Our ever expanding College of Science is testament to the quality of academic research being undertaken in this area, and we are delighted to be a part of National Science and Engineering Week.”

The Polestar Planetarium offers an exciting exploration of the Cosmos, with specialist projectors creating a 360 degree, hemispherical image of the night sky and large, hi-resolution NASA images. Based in the Main Administration Building of the Brayford Campus, there will be five presentations available to book on to every day between 17th to 21st March.

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham will be visiting the University to host an exclusive question and answer session for students and staff, followed by a public lecture which was fully booked within hours.

An Interactive Science Zone will run from 2pm to 6pm on 19th March, with activities and stands providing a great opportunity for families and schools to explore science in a friendly atmosphere.

As part of this a crime scene tent and forensic table will enable visitors to carry out their own fingerprinting, examine real human bones and discover the life that lives in your teeth!

Also putting in an appearance is ERWIN the ‘friendly robot’ as well as live dog training sessions, animal skulls and fossils displays and interactive chemistry and ecology activities.

On 20th March come and see our red-footed tortoises for a hands-on workshop looking at how these reptiles understand the world around them.

Public lectures include the consequences of training pet dogs with electronic collars and the life and love of black grouse, the successful evolution of a group of South American lizards and how male grouse have evolved to contend with the demands of the female of their species!

Academics will also be out and about in schools, delivering master classes in Engineering, Forensic Science and Chemistry.

To book a place for the Polestar Planetarium please call 01522 837100 or e-mail

To book on or to find out more about any of the other events and activities, please contact us on 01522 835388 or e-mail

For more information on when and where each activity is taking place go to,name,30000,en.html

Lincoln scientist’s ‘legal highs’ research features on The Conversation

Research into the analysis of legal highs by experts from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences is featured on The Conversation, in an article written by Senior Technician, Leonie Elie.

The Conversation is an independent online source of news and views from the academic community, which aims to unlock expert knowledge and deliver it directly to the public.
Following the pioneering research from the research team at the University of Lincoln, Leonie and Dr Mark Baron were invited by the website to provide an expert contribution on the task of analysing the contents of legal highs.
One of the testing methods devised by Lincoln’s researchers to identify substances in legal highs is now being used in drug analysis laboratories across the world.
To read the article in full, visit:

Engineering stem cells

Dr Issam Hussain, Senior Lecturer in the School of Life Sciences, is working with the School of Engineering to conduct research that has far-reaching implications in regenerative medicine.

Stem cells
Scanning Electron Microscope morphology of Mesenchymal stem cells after one day cell culture


Alongside Dr David Waugh, Professor Jonathan Lawrence and Chi Wai Chan, a visiting researcher from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Dr Hussain is using laser technology to manipulate the surface finish and chemistry of surfaces and materials on which stem cells are grown.

The research has shown laser surface treatment to be a potential means for modulating stem cell response in order to grow different cell types by simply laser-modifying the material surface. This has the potential to allow clinicians to grow tailored tissue and bone, rather than using an insufficient foreign object implant, increasing transplant effectiveness and efficiency. Endeavours into this field will ultimately allow medical staff to apply the technology to treat regenerative disorders.

Detecting mercury in historic plant specimens

A University of Lincoln academic and PhD student have been working to develop innovative and economical methods to detect harmful mercury in preserved plant specimens in museums.

Vicky hard at work at the Louvre Research Labs
Vicky hard at work at the Louvre Research Labs

Historically, museums and other collectors applied pesticides to botanical materials to prevent insect and fungal damage, commonly using highly toxic compounds of mercury and arsenic. These poisons remain in the collections today, causing serious health and safety concerns in museums across the world.

Working with the National Museum of Wales (NMW), Professor Belinda Colston and Vicky Purewal’s research focuses on the chemistry of the natural ageing processes occurring in the mount paper used to display collections. They have demonstrated that as the mount paper degrades over 30 years or more, it will shine fluorescent under a UV-A lamp if mercury is present. The NMW has used the methodology to identify severely contaminated specimen sheets in its 800,000 strong collection and to prioritise which collections required immediate re-mounting.

Herbarium specimen
Herbarium specimen


Professor Colston says: “It is hoped that this method will allow safe, standard procedures to be

implemented within museums to protect personnel and visitors when handling the collections. It is a very simple and cheap technique that is accessible to even the smallest museums across the world.”