'Insects & Parasites' feature at UNIFEST outreach event

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Posted on 29 June 2015
"I now know that I CAN come to University and I want to come to Keele" - student feedback

Dr Srabasti Chakravorty organized and hosted “Insects and Parasites” sessions at the School of Life Sciences, as part of the annual Women in Science (March) and UNIFEST (June) initiative run by Recruitment, Outreach & Access at Keele University. 

Srabasti Chakravorty and Catherine Merrick demonstrated how malaria is diagnosed using blood smears containing the Plasmodium (malaria) parasite; James Edwards-Smallbone demonstrated the dynamics of malaria transmission using “Hector the Vector” in a hands-on game; Ann Underhill and Victoria Carter displayed live adult and larval stages of the mosquitoes which spread malaria; Helen Price demonstrated live cultures of Leishmania parasites; Richard Ward and Pietra Lemos Costa displayed sandflies, which spread Leishmaniasis, and also played some rare recordings of sandfly mating “love songs”; and Adeyemi Akinyemi displayed live thrips, which are pests in agriculture and horticulture worldwide. 

The events were also supported by a number of PhD students (Nana Efua Andoh, Imran Ullah, Esther Ekechukwu, Nancy Dawam) and undergraduate students (Melissa Prior-Ong, Alice Pritchard, Mary Gibby and Dan Harris).  The contributors are all members of Keele’s Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology (CAEP).

The learners attending these events were from up to 25 partner schools.  Learner comments included, "I now know that I CAN come to University and I want to come to Keele"; while attending school teachers commented, “Loved how this session was interactive”, “Really good session.  Excellent activity.  Science and discussions pitched at the right level for these learners”.

Srabasti Chakravorty recently received an award for “Innovative Session of the Year” for organizing this highly popular “Insects and Parasites” session annually since 2009.