Keele student awarded Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship


Posted on 15 February 2012

Keele University research student Hannah Moore has been awarded a prestigious Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship.

The final year PhD student who is studying Chemistry (applied to Forensic Entomology), says the award is ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’ that will allow her to take her research to the USA.

Once her thesis has been submitted, she will travel to the USA for six to eight weeks, starting in Indiana where she will gain invaluable hands on entomological experience with a renowned forensic entomologist, Dr Neal Haskell, collecting samples and applying her current research in a field based environment.

Hannah says: “Forensic entomology is much more appreciated and recognised in the USA, so being able to work along side a practicing entomologist will give me a lot of insight, which I can hopefully bring back to the UK.”

She will then move to Massachusetts to work with the co-inventor of a new analytical instrument, Direct Analysis in Real Time.  This ion source (coupled to a Mass Spectrometer) is being widely used in the USA, especially in the area of toxicology but there are only three instruments in the UK.  Her time spent with Robert (Chip) Cody will give her a wealth of knowledge about the instrument, as well as looking at its potential to be applied for the analysis of entomology samples.
 
Her final confirmed visit will be to Oregon to carry out a short project at the US Fish and Wildlife Service Forensic Laboratory, where a senior scientist is keen to work with her on the analysis of the gut contents of larvae feeding on drug contaminated meat, using the technique of DART-MS.
 
She hopes to round off her trip by presenting her findings to the FBI - but this has yet to be confirmed. 

The Winston Churchill Trust was established in 1965 in memory of Sir Winston Churchill. They award annual grants to British citizens, (resident in the UK), to travel overseas, enabling them to study areas of interest in order to gain knowledge for the benefit of their profession, community and the UK as a whole.

On her return, Hannah – who left school without ‘A’ levels - plans to promote forensic entomology, DART-MS and the Winston Churchill Trust that gave her the opportunity.  She also hopes to give talks at local schools to promote science at higher education. 

For further details on the trust and for information on how to apply for next years fellowships, visit www.wcmt.org.uk