The BSPP wishes to encourage and reward undergraduate students interested in plant pathology through our Undergraduate Research and Exam Prizes.
Each year, participating institutions are asked to nominate their best student or students for two separate awards; the BSPP prize for best undergraduate research in plant pathology and the BSPP prize for examination performance in plant pathology. All nominated students are awarded a small prize and a certificate to celebrate their achievements, and are entered into our national competition.
The BSPP are proud to announce the winners, nominated by UK universities (and other higher education institutions offering Level 6 courses) throughout the country.
For our overall UK prizes our congratulations go to:
Freya Smith (University of Birmingham)
The BSPP prize for best undergraduate research in plant pathology (2023)
For best dissertation, literature review or research project.
Freya won this award for a module ‘Evidence-based literature review and critical analysis informed project proposal’ in the third year of a BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Freya’s outstanding literature review and following project proposal explored the effect of elevated CO2 in plant immunity to fungal pathogens.
Nominated by Dr Estrella Luna Diez
Amber Gunter (Imperial College London)
The BSPP prize for examination performance in plant pathology (2023)
For best performance in a final year exam paper or module.
Nominated by Dr Tolga Bozhurt
Winners of University Nominated Prizes
Polly Bridges for Best Exam Performance in Plant Pathology at the University of Cambridge (2023)
Polly was nominated for her excellent exam performance in plant pathology components of Plant Science at the University of Cambridge.
Nominated by Prof. Nik Cunniffe
Toby Allington for Best Undergraduate Research in Plant Pathology at University of Leeds (2023)
Toby was nominated for his outstanding dissertation, entitled “Transcriptome analysis shows universal defence responses including terpene synthase expression is strongly associated with Meloidogyne incognita resistance in Coffea canephora”
Nominated by Prof P.E. Unwin
Alice Penrose for Best Undergraduate Research in Plant Pathology at University of Oxford (2023)
Alice was nominated for her truly impressive dissertation describing two distinct papain-like proteases that are secreted by Phytophthora infestans during infection.
Nominated by Prof. Renier van der Hoorn
Amber Gunter for Best Undergraduate Research in Plant Pathology at Imperial College, London (2023)
Amber was nominated for her excellent research project ‘Investigating the immune function of Joka2 and its interaction with MAPKs
during virus infection’ in the third year of a BSc in Biological Sciences at Imperial College London.
Nominated by Dr Yasin Tumtas
Rebecca Gough for Best Exam Performance in Plant Pathology at the University of Nottingham (2023)
Nominated by Prof. Matt Dickinson
Priya Desikan for Best Undergraduate Research in Plant Pathology at the University of Cambridge (2023)
Priya was nominated for her exceptional research exploring variation in susceptibility and resistance to plant-parasitic nematodes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in a final year research project at the University of Cambridge.
Nominated by Dr Sebastian Eves van den Akker
Yankit Mandal for Best Undergraduate Research in Plant Pathology at Royal Holloway University of London (2023)
Yankit was nominated for his excellent research on barley genes and their potential role in resistance and susceptibility to B. hordea in the final year of a BSc in Biomedical Sciences at the Royal Holloway University of London.
Nominated by Dr Enrique Lopez and Dr Laurence Bindschedler
“The BSPP encourages and promotes the study of plant pathology at the undergraduate level. Research projects and Exam entries completed by this year’s winners focused on a wide range of topics, from plant pathology, molecular biology and virology to biological control of plant diseases. These all have real implications for food security, ecosystem services and society. In all cases, nominating academics highlighted the excellent quality of experimental work and presentation of results and conclusions. The Society can be reassured that the future of our discipline appears to be in the very safest of hands!” BSPP Education Secretary, Mojgan Rabiey.