Dr Paola Magni takes the stage at the International FameLab Final ©

Cheltenham Science Festival

Dr Paola Magni wowed the FameLab International judges at Cheltenham Science Festival with her investigative and scientific skills – asking what do shoes, barnacles and crime scenes have in common?

Paola’s research is finding revolutionary tools for underwater investigation, bringing new witnesses to life – ‘colonising’ plants, plankton, animals and little creatures like barnacles. The presence and activity of these organisms can help investigators reconstruct and identify how long a body has been in water and track the location of the crime scene.  

This research has global application as it can be key to investigating criminal cases – using science for justice and closure for families. 

Paola represented Australia at the International FameLab competition which took place on 6 June at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. She competed against world class scientists from 25 countries including South Africa, the Netherlands, Thailand and Korea. 

“I’m so proud to have represented Australia at the international FameLab competition. It is exciting to hear the life changing scientific research happening around the world, and to be able to share some great Australia scientific discoveries with people,” said Dr Paola Magni. 

FameLab International

FameLab is the British Council’s international science communication competition to get people talking about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The competition gives new voices in STEM a global platform to showcase their knowledge with the world.

With just three minutes on stage for contestants to get their point across, FameLab is high stakes science at its best. The judges look for somebody who can shine in content, clarity and charisma – the content must be scientifically accurate, clear to understand and presented with a lot of personality. 

“We are thrilled that Paola Magni brought incredible Australian forensic innovation to a global stage. For over a decade the British Council has supported thousands of STEM researchers around the world, promoting international collaboration in higher education and science, and giving audiences the chance to hear about new discoveries that could change our lives.” said Helen Salmon, Director British Council in Australia.

“For the last two years the Australian winners of FameLab have gone on to be Global Runners-Up in the International Competition. We’re so proud of Paola and we’re sure we will be seeing more of her work as an up and coming scientific voice in Australia.”