Centre for Learning and Teaching

Ede and Ravenscroft Prize Winners

The Ede and Ravenscroft Prize is awarded annually on behalf of Senate by the Ede and Ravenscroft Prize Committee to a postgraduate research student on the basis of a high standard of achievement.

The winner of the 2016 prize is: JACK OYSTON, Department of Biology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science.

Pictured right - Jack Oyston with Professor Sue Wonnacott, Professor Jonathan Knight, Professor Gary Lock, Professor Orietta Marsili and Professor David Galbreath.


The title of Jack’s presentation was ‘Convergent Evolution: Roadmaps or Roundabouts?’  In his talk, he explored the nature of convergent evolution and how the fossil record documents ‘natural experiments’ in which major groups evolved independently on different continents and at different times. 

He explained how his work addressed two related and long-standing problems in evolutionary biology: namely how to recognise instances of morphological convergence, and what these might tell us about the nature of the evolutionary process. 

He outlined his research investigating evolutionary mechanisms and his contribution to expanding the existing body of macro-evolutionary knowledge as well as identifying the potential implications of convergence for evolutionary relationships. 

The Committee, which was chaired by Professor Jonathan Knight, agreed that “Jack was an enthusiastic presenter who was able to explain clearly his research.  We were impressed by his intellectual ability, authoritative responses to questions and significant personal contribution to the research area”. 

The Committee based their decision on both Jack’s presentation and the more detailed account of his research in the nomination paper.  Jack has a studentship from the John Templeton Foundation - an organisation with a remit that includes research into fundamental blue skies evolutionary questions - and he is in his third year of funding.  Jack’s Head of Department wrote “This work is of the highest quality, is of high impact and at the forefront of the field”.


Pictured left - Ede & Ravenscroft Prize Winner 2016 Jack Oyston talks us through his methodology

After receiving the award, Jack said “It's a true honour to win the prize and to have the opportunity to talk about my work to so many interested people.  I'm always striving to show other academics and the public that 'blue skies' research can be exciting but is also the foundation we build new technologies and ideas upon.  This prize competition was a great experience in learning how to do that and the prize money will allow me to travel to more conferences and events to continue to share my research with others.”


ExR_finalists_2016-1280The Committee were pleased to be able to invite five postgraduate research students from a range of disciplines and research projects to present their work.  The quality of research was agreed to be exceptional and the ability of presenters to communicate their area of expertise to a general audience was commended.  The Committee enjoyed all the presentations and welcomed the questions and comments of the audience. 

Pictured right all the finalists - Jonathan Wagner, Karlijn Van Den Broek, Milto Miltiadou, Jack Oyston and Kimberley Gallagher.

The other finalists were:

Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Presentation Title: "Iron Nails It!  An efficient and versatile route to useful phosphorus containing molecules"

Computer Science, Faculty of Science
Presentation Title: "Exploration and Visualisation of full-waveform LiDAR Data for Forestry Applications"

Psychology, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Presentation Title: “Investigating what Motivates Energy Conservation and how we estimate our Household Energy Use to save effectively: a Mixed-Methods Approach”.

Jonathan WAGNER
Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & Design
Presentation Title:“Powering our world of the future   Sustainable transport fuels from microalgae

Past Winners

Year Name Department Subject
2015 Tara Cheetham Psychology Learning to cope under pressure: manipulating stress and exploring resilience in children
2014 Ed Carter Pharmacy & Pharmacology Branching out: key players in the growth of the airway tree
2013 Katie Charneski Biology & Biochemistry Postively charged amino acids are the major determinants of ribosomal velocity (and why don't codons slow ribosomes after all?)
2012 Joe Kinrade Electronic & Electrical Engineering  Sky on fire - The Auroral Effects on GPS in the Antarctic
2011 Tatiana Kim Mathematical Sciences Danger: high-frequency!
2010 Tobias Warnecke Biology & Biochemistry Colonel Mustard, with the candlestick,... in the loft conversion??!! Redrawing the board of genetic Cluedo: How mutations cause harm in unexpected places
2009 James Stone Physics Blue wavelength enhanced supercontinuum generation “Getting the blues”
2008 Shifaan Thowfeequ Biology & Biochemistry Towards a Novel Therapy for Diabetes: A Bio-alchemist's approach
2007 Miss J Parmley Biology & Biochemistry Splicing and the Evolution of Mammalian Genes
2006 Miss H Shearer Chemical Engineering Tissue Engineering for Bone Repair: A Four Dimensional Challenge
2005 Ms K Coopman Pharmacy & Pharmacology Exploring a Role for Cannabis Products in Inflammation
2004 Ms A Dowling Biology & Biochemistry The insecticidal toxin Makes caterpillars floppy (Mcf) promotes apoptosis in mammalian cells
2003 Ms A O Urrutia Biology & Biochemistry Human Genome Organisation: the fine tuning for transcription
2002 Mr A Parfitt Mechanical Engineering Adaptive camouflage based upon biological principles
2001 Ms S Iyer Biology & Biochemistry Structure and function of the Placenta growth factor
2000 Mr E B Mallon Biology & Biochemistry Decision-making in colonies of the ant Leptothorax albipennis
1999 Mrs C Edmunds Pharmacy & Pharmacology T lymphocyte activation within the immune system
1998 Mr N G C Smith Biology & Biochemistry The costs and consequences of gene copy number variation
1997 Mr S Serkov Mathematical Sciences (details not available)
1996 Mr J D Schmitt Biology & Biochemistry The design and synthesis of novel synthetic trans membrane peptides
1995 Miss E C M Crooks Mathematical Sciences Reaction diffusion systems
1994 Mr T J Gosling Mathematical Sciences Modelling dislocations in strained-layer devices
1993 No award
1992 Mr W J Crowther Mechanical Engineering Aircraft Yaw Control at High Angle of Attack by Tangential Forebody Blowing
1991 Mr I W Davies Chemistry New Methodology for Asymmetric Synthesis

If you would like further information about the Ede & Ravenscroft Prize Committee, please contact Mark Pender, ext. 3598.