Pádraic Flood, a University College Dublin (UCD) science graduate, beat off nearly 2,000 scientists from 22 countries, to be crowned the 2014 FameLab International Champion, at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival, held last week.

Pádraic, who graduated from UCD in 2008 with a BSc (Hons), is currently completing a PhD in plant genetics at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.  Earlier this year he won the FameLab Benelux competition and represented the trio of countries at the FameLab International finals in Cheltenham.

Pádraic’s winning talk discussed improving photosynthesis to prevent food scarcity. He first took the audience into the leaf and told them about the mechanics of photosynthesis, leading to where light meets water, saying “it is at this point that light becomes life”. He then told the audience about food shortages in the future and how we might combat this through improving photosynthesis.

After winning the competition Pádraic said, “FameLab is fantastic, it opens a direct dialogue between scientists and the public, and I’m so glad to have been a part of it this year.”

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Written by The Science Squad