Friday 30 June 2023

Botanical University Challenge: here come the finals

Contestants at BUC 2022 (held online)
The final round of the 2023 Botanical University Challenge (BUC) takes place at University of Nottingham on 5th July and BSBI is delighted to be supporting this year's event. 

BUC is an annual contest to find the most botanically knowledgeable team of students from across Britain and Ireland; it was first held in 2016 and is the brainchild of Prof John Warren, Dr Jonathan Mitchley and Prof Paul Ashton, all former members of BSBI Skills & Training (formerly Training & Education) Committee. This interview with John from 2019 gives you more background.

The Edge Hill team at BUC 2016:
Josh Styles on the team!
Image: J. Mitchley 

Previous heats took place in February and the four teams who have made it to the finals are: the Ptrinity Pteridophytes from Trinity College Dublin (a last-minute replacement for Team Stone Roses from MMU who had to drop out); Malus Intent from Eden Project Learning; the University of Cambridge team; and the Bad Birches from University of Oxford.  

You can find out more and book here to watch the live-stream or here to attend the event in person. You'll also be able to follow the action on Twitter at #BUC2023 and do feel free to try and answer the questions yourself, that's all part of the fun. 

John Warren (centre) at
BSBI Training & Education Committee:
the breeding ground for many great ideas!
Image: L. Marsh

BSBI staffers will be attending BUC 2023, chatting to students and finding out how BSBI can support them as they get started in their botanical careers. We'll have a display stand with BSBI literature and leaflets, our slide 'What Can the BSBI Offer to Botany & Plant Science Students' (see below) will be up on the screen between rounds, and we're also providing prizes for all the finalists: free student/ paperless membership of BSBI. Of course some of the students (including Billy Fullwood, Chair of BSBI Events & Comms Committee) are already very active BSBI members, so they will be able to carry their prize over to next year. 

As John Warren says, "From its humble beginnings in 2015 as an idea discussed at the BSBI Training & Education Committee, Botanical University Challenge has gone from strength to strength!". 

So keep an eye on BUC on 5th July and be amazed and inspired by those incredibly knowledgeable teams of early career botanists! 

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