Student portraits

Sladjana Baljak

Sladjana Baljak, Chemistry (Postgraduate)

Sladjana Baljak, Chemistry (Postgraduate)

The aim of my research in the Manners' group, specialising in inorganic and materials chemistry, is the synthesis of new materials with a wide range of possible applications such as heterogeneous catalysts and precursors for functional ceramics, liquid-crystalline and bioactive materials and in electronic devices and sensors.

Besides the excellent facilities which enable me to explore interesting science and input from internationally renowned scientists, the University of Bristol offers an impressive array of student sport and social clubs. As Bristol is located close to the seaside, I tend to spend as much free time as possible on the coast and in the water.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Gabriela Kissling

Gabriela Kissling, Chemistry (Postgraduate)

Gabriela Kissling, Chemistry (Postgraduate)

I have studied chemistry in the department of chemistry at the university of Bern in Switzerland. After toying with the thought of specialising in organic chemistry for a short time I decided to forget about separating funnels and went on to do a masters degree in electrochemistry, focusing on the electrochemical properties of quantum dots.

For the last three years I have been focusing on fundamental questions which arose during my masters project as part of my PhD course at the University of Bristol. Next to finally understanding the mechanisms we discovered during the masters project I now study the electrochemical properties of surface modified semiconductors with the aim of providing fundamental information which could lead to the development of more efficient solar cells.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Sean Bartlett

Sean Bartlett, Chemistry (Undergraduate)

Sean Bartlett, Chemistry (Undergraduate)

The more chemistry you study, the more you realise that there is no end to its scope - the applications are everywhere! It's this simple reason that I'm driven to find out more about the makeup of our world. What captivates me is the idea that you can start with just one molecule, and one target.

Chemists can now mechanistically design and perfect large, multi-step chemical synthesis of the desired product whilst exhibiting a high level of control over properties including chirality and wastage.

The wide variety of spectroscopic techniques now available means that changes can not only be quantified throughout the whole process, but studied in great detail too. Under the supervision of my personal tutor I spent the summer using NMR to elucidate organic molecular structures, and investigating the use of NOE spectroscopy to calculate inter-nuclear distances in molecules.

There are very few places in the world where I could experience this first-hand! The education, skills and practical experience that I'm gaining here at Bristol are the stepping stones to the career in chemistry that I strive for.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Antonia Forster

Antonia Forster, Biological Sciences (Undergraduate)

Antonia Forster, Biological Sciences (Undergraduate)

I always wanted to study Zoology at Bristol; largely because of its links with production companies, especially the BBC. The course has been excellent, and I've found it more enjoyable with each year.

I took a BioImaging field course which I highly recommend - I learned loads about photography and film-making, and got to meet some important people working in that area.

My advice to new students would be to talk to your lecturers - they're almost always happy to help, and making contacts can really help you out when looking for a PhD or job!

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Alice Hughes

Alice Hughes, Biological Sciences (Postgraduate)

Alice Hughes, Biological Sciences (Postgraduate)

At Bristol we are privileged to have not one but two bat labs, making it a brilliant place to study bats from a multitude of perspectives.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Shanna Ludwig

Shanna Ludwig, Biological Sciences (Postgraduate)

Shanna Ludwig, Biological Sciences (Postgraduate)

Bristol is a fantastic place to work as a plant biologist because there is a collection of amazing biodiversity right on the University's doorstep in the Avon Gorge.

Thanks to the natural and human-altered form of the landscape, there are countless opportunities to study plant-animal interactions, plant population genetics, and continuing plant diversification in a huge variety of ecological niches.

I've really enjoyed exploring and getting to know the Avon Gorge and its plant communities, particularly as they change with the seasons.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Faith Smith

Faith Smith, Biological Sciences (Postgraduate)

Faith Smith, Biological Sciences (Postgraduate)

After completing a Zoology degree at the university I was lucky enough to be offered a postgraduate position within the Biological Sciences faculty and was so happy to be studying here for another four years.

The staff are so enthusiastic about their research that I was encouraged to apply for a PhD and I love being part of such a passionate department. I spend my time mainly out in Ashton Court hunting for ticks as my PhD is in Veterinary Parasitology.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Bea Caicedo Velasquez

Bea Caicedo Velasquez, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

Bea Caicedo Velasquez, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

The University of Bristol brings you not only an academic experience but also permits you to explore yourself and to identity the role that you want to play in the society.

It shows you the world and its complexities from many different angles and guides you toward a fascinating route of discovering and understanding. Most importantly, is the fact that you can live all these experiences side by side with the most recognized academics who always make you feel welcome and part of the team.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Nathan Eisenstadt

Nathan Eisenstadt, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

Nathan Eisenstadt, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

I am interested exploring and expanding the cracks, ruptures and moments of autonomy that erupt in resistance to everyday life under capitalism.

For me this means taking a critical yet constructive look at my own practices and attempting to use the space afforded me within the university to think through some of the productive paradoxes of a situated anarchist praxis - for example, the tensions between spontaneity and stagnation, freedom and governance, creation and destruction.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Richard Bretton

Richard Bretton, Earth Sciences (Undergraduate)

Richard Bretton, Earth Sciences (Undergraduate)

As a graduate of the University (1975 LL.B) and a mature (very!) student seeking an academic challenge, I have been warmly welcomed, robustly tested and greatly rewarded.

The amount of contact time (over 21 hours a week) in BSc Geology year 1 is impressive and the enthusiasm of the teaching staff infectious. There is a very careful mix of lecture-room teaching and 'hands-on' practicals and field trips.

After year 1, I am very likely to transfer to the 4 year MSc course to prolong the experience which I would recommend to students of all ages and backgrounds.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Srikanta Ganesha

Srikanta Ganesha, Earth Sciences (Postgraduate)

Srikanta Ganesha, Earth Sciences (Postgraduate)

“May you live in interesting times", is an ancient Chinese curse. I beg to differ. I tend to agree with Ruskin Bond, a visually impaired Indian short story writer of British descent.

In one of his short stories involving himself travelling by train, he comments on a fellow female passenger and says "you have an interesting face" and adds that it is a safe comment to make at any given time.

The lady does not realise that he is blind until the end of both the journey and the story. Ruskin Bond realises that the lady with whom he was talking all the while, was also blind at the end of his journey.

I think my time at University of Bristol was interesting and now you know that interesting can be safe, enlightening and much more!

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Hannah Rutledge

Hannah Rutledge, Experimental Psychology (Undergraduate)

Hannah Rutledge, Experimental Psychology (Undergraduate)

The quality of the lecturing and research in the School of Experimental Psychology is of the highest standard.

What’s more, the wide range of research interests of the academic staff allows each student to develop their own areas of interest.

With so much to see, do and experience, Bristol really is the ideal city to make the most out of university life.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Ypapanti Chochorelou

Ypapanti Chochorelou, Experimental Psychology (Undergraduate)

Ypapanti Chochorelou, Experimental Psychology (Undergraduate)

I'm a 3rd year Psychology student full-time; a 1st year Counselling student part-time; mature and part-time students officer for this academic year; and I volunteer with the Bristol Student Community Action.

I am involved in the University community more than I thought possible as a foreign student, and enjoying every minute of it.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Tom Flynn

Tom Flynn, Earth Sciences (Undergraduate)

Tom Flynn, Earth Sciences (Undergraduate)

Coming to Bristol has given me the opportunity to do what I want to do and be who I want to be. Despite not enjoying my course quite as much as I'd hoped, it's still fulfilling and interesting, and the department pulses with infectiously passionate staff, researchers and students.

Being in a thriving city with a bustling university at it's heart has afforded me the space and chances to dive into anything I find interesting. For me, a lot of that has been working for the student newspaper, Epigram, but the extra-curricular student scene is large and multi-faceted.

Socially, being at any university is either frightening or amazing depending on your viewpoint. The sheer mix of people at Bristol University means that your eyes are opened very quickly, and you soon realise that background means very little. Some people are nice, some aren't. It's like the world in microcosm in every respect.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Ruza Ivanovic

Ruza Ivanovic, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

Ruza Ivanovic, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

My work focuses on studying the interactions between ocean circulations and global climate, primarily looking at the exchange of water between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

In the lab, I measure the isotopic composition of microscopic fossils found in ancient ocean sediments (up to several million years old) and use this information to reconstruct past ocean currents.

I also run state of the art general circulation models to assess the way these ocean currents are represented and to study their influence on global climate.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Ivan Wu

Ivan Wu, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

Ivan Wu, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

National identity can be present or not. It is innate but illusive. Given Singapore's colonial past, multiracial present, and feverish material development, I am interested in how the various manifestations of Singaporean national identity can present itself.

In particular, I focus on the realms of memory and nostalgia to approach this enigma. Thankfully, the School of Geographical Sciences at Bristol facilitates my academic pursuits.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Joanna Hutchinson

Joanna Hutchinson, Mathematics (Postgraduate)

Joanna Hutchinson, Mathematics (Postgraduate)

Mathematical physics aims to describe the world around us using simplified models which capture the fundamental processes behind what is observed.

The inspiring environment at Bristol created from working amongst others who share my passion for this subject, has provided me with constant stimulation and led me to believe that the deeper I delve into the laws of nature, the more beautiful it becomes. It's got me hooked...

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Ning Hao

Ning Hao, Mathematics (MRes)

Ning Hao, Mathematics (MRes)

As a mathematics student of the University of Bristol, I have enjoyed my life here a lot.

The abundant resources, the approachable teaching staff, and a vibrant learning and research atmosphere combined have given me a unique experience.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Rosie Hughes

Rosie Hughes, Mathematics (Undergraduate)

Rosie Hughes, Mathematics (Undergraduate)

I am about to go into my final year studying Mathematics.

The department allows you the choice to study the type of Maths you are interested in and this has meant I have enjoyed every part of my development here.

I have had the chance to learn many new Mathematical and life skills along with making some lifelong friends.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Lauren Gregoire

Lauren Gregoire, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

Lauren Gregoire, Geographical Sciences (Postgraduate)

Twenty thousand years ago, there were kilometres of ice covering Canada and the North of Europe coming all the way to Great Britain.

I study why and how these ice sheets disappeared, using state of the art climate and ice sheet models.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Ross Lund

Ross Lund, Mathematics (Postgraduate)

Ross Lund, Mathematics (Postgraduate)

Why did I choose Bristol? The combined strength of my two departments, coupled with the structure of the joint honours degree programme made Bristol a very attractive place to come.

When I came to visit I was sold, the city is one of the best places to live in the UK, and the university is very much integrated into the city centre.

Why science? I was interested in science from a young age, and maths and physics provide the deepest insights into the workings of the natural world - underpinning all aspects of science in general.

Why did I choose to remain here for postgraduate study? Bristol is a community of research academics, as you get further through degree study you see that scientific research is the lifeblood of a university like Bristol.

I was inspired into research study by the passion of various members of academic staff here in Bristol - which is very much reflected in the teaching.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Jim Sadler

Jim Sadler, Physics (Postgraduate)

Jim Sadler, Physics (Postgraduate)

The University offers a great teaching environment in the heart of a beautiful city. I have been at the University for six years now and have enjoyed every minute of it.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Jonathan Richards

Jonathan Richards, Physics (Undergraduate)

Jonathan Richards, Physics (Undergraduate)

I love answering questions. Spending afternoons in a pub telling my friend why nuclear power can power things and explaining to my landlady why a microwave is safe and that we definitely do need one for the flat.

I am also equally fond of not answering questions. Being asked why planes can fly upside down, drawing a blank, spending two hours trying to find out and not finding any solid answer. I still don't know for certain why planes don't fall like a stone as soon their wings are flipped.

But I did find out that my assumption that two bits of air separated at the front of an airplane's wing join back up at the back of it is wrong. And that how a wing generates lift normally isn't fully understood. That's why I study physics.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Elizabeth Robinson

Elizabeth Robinson, Physics (Postgraduate)

Elizabeth Robinson, Physics (Postgraduate)

Bristol is a brilliant place to study and an exciting and stimulating place to live; there is so much life and variety in the city. My PhD in nanophysics provides variety from electronics, to aligning optics, to programming.

The daily challenges of research are sometimes tough but also very rewarding. With good supervision and advice from colleagues and friends in the department, I am making good progress.

The flexibility of the PhD means you can work when and how you want which I feel promotes creativity and motivation.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Chris Lucas

Chris Lucas, Physics (Undergraduate)

Chris Lucas, Physics (Undergraduate)

I'm in my fourth and final year of a Physics MSci at Bristol. I chose to study at Bristol because of its great reputation, friendly atmosphere and excellent location in a vibrant and cultural city.

Throughout my degree I've learnt many aspects of both classic and modern physics, taught by some of the leading experts in the fields. It is my hope that following my graduation I will continue my career in science with a Phd in Particle Physics.

My greatest interest are the questions that are still unanswered; what happened straight after the big bang, what is the universe made of, and what is mass, to name just a few. Thanks to work by the Bristol Physics department, experiments such as the LHC are getting us ever closer to the answers.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Dave Phillips

Dave Phillips, Physics (Postgraduate)

Dave Phillips, Physics (Postgraduate)

I work in an area of physics concerned with developing tools to investigate micro-sized objects, including biological systems. I use lasers to trap and move around small particles such as cells, to investigate their structural and chemical properties.

This is a challenging but also fun and rewarding area of physics to be involved in, and I have access to cutting edge facilities through Bristol's new nanoscience building.

Bristol is a fantastic city, and the physics department has a very friendly working environment.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan

Dan Saunders

Dan Saunders, Physics (Undergraduate)

Dan Saunders, Physics (Undergraduate)

The best thing about University is the people. You're surrounded by intellect, friendliness, intelligence, enthusiasm, all from people with a true passion for their studies and achievements.

Bristol students are renowned for these attributes, both academically and socially. Being a research university, you study around the world's latest in scientific discoveries and advancements, being taught by the leaders of academic fields.

Photo: Chrystal Cherniwchan