Dundee 2014

There was a Team

Roll Call...


Hover over the images to see another side to the person!

Aleks Płochocka

Nickname: Toothy MaGee
Described in 5: Enthusiastic. Determined. Kind-hearted. Funny. Young’un.

Aleks has a massive love for all things maths and physics. She puts everything she has in to the modelling and building the device, making her a multitasking genius! Aleks is great to be in the lab with as she is always so positive and upbeat about everything (even when it feels like nothing is working!).

Fatima Ulhuq

Nickname: Miss Chief
Described in 5: Resourceful. Creative. Loyal. Inspiring. Passionate

She is a talented Pharmacology Student who has just finished her final year. Not only great at cloning she is great at making smiles. From putting teammates faces on a range of images, with humorous results, to making witty comments that lighten the most stressful of days. A strong pillar of the group and the project could not be a success without her.

Robyn Shuttleworth

Nickname: Sharp Shootin’ Shotgun Shuttleworth
Described in 5: Knowledgeable. Caring. Motivated. Enthusiastic. Spirited.

A Raffish Bounty Hunter who teams with Gillian and Aleks to find the bacterial bandits binding behaviours in efforts to collect The Lung Ranger reward. Her aim and precision is widely acknowledged across the southern plains and her trusty companion Rou ensures she’s the fastest cowboy in the west. When she’s not out on the plains bounty huntin’, her propensity with numbers means she’s statistically the most likely to get a royal flush playing poker.

Dave Burrell

Nickname: Scarlet
Described in 5: Easy-going. Witty. Honest. Ambitious. Inspirational.

Dave is probably one of the most chilled out people in the lab.Studying Computer Science; he’s the master of coding. With everything he does there’s the attitude of “when stuff will work”, not “if”. Aside from being the wiz behind the wiki he worked on the LASSO and dived into electronics with huge enthusiasm. Overall one of the best things about working on a team with Dave is the encouragement he gives you. He’s always motivating in terms of new ideas that come up and always there to crack a joke with, in between.

Gillian Forsyth

Nickname: Frisbeest
Described in 5: Calm. Composed. Full of energy.

Gillian is our team Mathematical Biologist. While trying to come up with stochastic models, she’s making the perplexed biologists relive their nightmare of doing math! Usually, she’s quite calm and composed, until she finds a mini bicycle, and then she’s off! The rest of us might have all moved into the shade, injured by their burns, but Gillian will still be out and having fun! She loves variety in her life so to mix it up; she likes to hop on a space hopper!

Dimitrios Michailidis

Nickname: Conchita Wurst
Described in 5: Bewhiskered Bionic Beauty Battles BioBricks

Science will never defeat him, it may knock him once...twice...three times (while growing competent cells by the gallon full) but never will he surrender.He strives to do his very best, like no one ever has. To Biobrick the genes is his real test, to sequence them is his cause. He will travel across the labs, searching far and wide, each PostDoc to understand, the knowledge that’s inside. Gotta Biobrick them all. His life’s ambition is to be as successful as this year’s Eurovision song contest winner Conchita you think he has the potential?

Roddy McNeill

Nickname: Violet
Described in 5: A buffalo in a blizzard

Hailing from Glasgow's own Wild West end, Roddy brings a most necessary element of calm to the team - cool and collected in the face of results that might frazzle a softer scientist. Roddy has become our resident biochemist, absorbing the techniques of PhD students and PIs alike to become a one-gunned, sharp-eyed, no-horse-having, western-blotting hurricane. Roddy's extra mural activities also strengthen the team - his karate-honed reflexes mean he never drops the lunchtime frisbee and his time spent moonlighting as the lovely Violet has honed a thinly veiled talent for sass, which keeps the rest of us on our toes.

Jen Wood

Nickname: JeMCherry
Described in 5: Merry. Ambitious. Out-going. Energetic. Bubbly.

Jen is the cheery-cherry of the group. Aside from sharing her singing with us in the lab, her passion for running has somehow rubbed off and even the un-fittest amongst us are running to raise money for the CF trust. Jen is our outreach goddess; she is very well connected and her enthusiasm and positivity is very infectious. Watch out our future medic will treat you with happiness and fantastic lemon cake!

Jess Martyn

Nickname: Mr Chief
Described in 5: Grrrrreat Crrrrrackin Passionate Crazy Scientist

"We’ll sneak in after she's left the lab and set everything up for her birthday!" . . . around about midnight Fatima and Aleks managed to get into the lab to set everything up. Jess is typically the first in, and last out of the lab; diligently pursuing the fluorescent read out from our little Lung Ranger. Bubbly, cheerful and always ready to play a prank (or two!) on unsuspecting members of the team, Jess is a stalwart of the wet lab. Everything she's involved in can generally be summed up as Crackin'!


Scott McCrimmon

Scott is a born synthetic biologist, and was in the lab the day after exams planning a cloning strategy. His long standing battle of attrition with colony PCRs has been costly, threatening to grind him down during long afternoons and evenings, and resorting to him pipetting with two Gilsons at a time. Yet his diligence and endurance has paid off, providing us with perfect clones for our devices. Scott’s sunny optimism often bolsters the team; during dark times, with no bands on gels, blank sequence results and no code on the computer, his “F*@k it; it’ll work” always lightens the mood and spurs people on! Scott’s musical expertise is undeniable; his highly anticipated iGEM mashup “Build Me Up Biobrick-All You Need is One (Resistant Colony)-Centrifuges Spin Me Right Round” is sure to make the headlines by the time Boston comes around.As one of the first in the team to present at the SULSA conference, and happy to ferry furniture to different offices when required, no job is too big or too small for Mr McCrimmon.

François Cléon

Like France, but with more "WAH”
François is very enthusiastic and passionate about science. He is always cool and collected in the lab; as well as on the football field!

Karim Rafie

Karim has a talent for asking the questions which you haven’t even considered! He keeps us on our toes and helps us overcome any issues. With his help we are able to better understand our work and in turn progress with our project. Always popping his head in to see if there is anything he can help us with.

Avril Smart

Avril is an iGEM veteran at the University of Dundee, having been a member of the 2012 team and stepping into an advisory role for the 2013 and 2014 teams. Being a bit of a renaissance woman, Avril has helped us all out not only by contributing to our project-planning meetings at the start of the summer and helping to lay the groundwork in the lab, but also by creating some beautiful artwork for our wiki (including The Lung Ranger himself!). Not content with countless hours of brushstrokes, she has also been working on a wee musical iGEM treat…


Prof Tracy Palmer

Tracy “Cactus ” Palmer is making her debut to the Jamboree this year after heading up the Dundee iGEM competition at home since 2011. Cactus Palmer is one of the most notorious outlaws of the Wild West, keeping her band of lawless students in check and making sure we don't stray from the path by running an 8mm gel for anything longer than 3 minutes... Tracy's famous skill at the cloning bench (it's a black art!) is envied by us all and we've spent the summer trying to develop our own magic hands. Although Tracy has been known to leave the team shaking in their little cowboy boots, her knowledge and experience is always on hand to settle things down when there's a fox in the iGEM henhouse!

Prof Frank Sargent

Frank “Snakebite” Sargent is an iGEM veteran - with 3 competitions under his belt he returns to Boston this year on the poster judging panel, beware his eagle-eye! This poker-faced protein master has been mentoring the team over the summer by teaching us the way of the wild-western blot (with all the associated book-learnin’), helping us to design experiments to test our system, and by making an appearance as a scar-faced villain in our photoshoot.

Dr Fordyce Davidson

Dyce is the dynamic driving force behind the dry lab. His high expectations of each team member bring out the best in us. Behind his formal attire is a comedian at heart and someone who is always prepared to ply us with coffee in our hours of need!