Each year the Trust invites final year students at the University of Cambridge who have conducted research that would have interested John Ray to apply for our science prize. This year’s winner was Natural Sciences’ student Matthew Lewis for his research into how butterflies are responding to climate change. Since 1976 76% of British butterfly species have declined in distribution or abundance. Matthew’s research looked at how well 29 butterfly species were able to ‘buffer’ their body temperature against fine temperature changes at a RSPB reserve. His findings suggest that providing varied habitats and vegetation, and therefore importantly shade, across a nature reserve can help the butterflies.
On 8 November Matthew visited Notley High School in Braintree to talk to GSCE Science students about his research, and about student life at Cambridge. It was a very inspirational talk, and we hope it will encourage many of the students to consider studying natural history at university and appyling to Oxbridge.
We were pleased to hear that Matthew is continuing his butterfly research and we wish him all the best with his future career.
For more information on the Science Prize please click here