Image of A screenshot of a virtual lecture hall
The conference was hosted on the online platform

Graduate Conference goes virtual

The annual Jesus College Graduate Conference took place on on Saturday 6 March 2021.

Prizes were awarded to presentations on topics ranging from oceanic methane to Aristotle’s influence on Nietzsche.

Olivier award-winning musician and comedian Richard Thomas welcomed attendees, and the Master gave an opening speech. Research exhibits were available to view throughout the conference, and postgraduate students were able to present their research via a poster or oral presentation.

MCR academic officer Hannah Charlotte Copley (2019, PhD in Surgery) organised the conference, and gave a presentation titled ‘Effect Of HLA Class II Polymorphism On Predicted Cellular Immunity Against SARS-CoV-2 At The Individual Level And Within Twenty Five Race/Ethnic Groups’. Hannah said: “Once again the subjects covered represent the breadth of intellectual curiosity within the College, something that I believe continues to be one of our greatest strengths.”


The Master and the Graduate Tutors (Prof. Tim Wilkinson, Dr Michael Edwards and Dr. Sybil Stacpoole) judged presentations, and announced the prizewinners in the final event of the conference. Prizes included College scarves and mugs, ice cream from Jack’s Gelato, and macarons and Chelsea buns from Fitzbillies.

1st prize (oral presentation)

Phillip Craik (2020, PhD in German), ‘Aristotle’s Influence on Nietzsche’s Early Politics’

2nd prize (oral presentation)

Jonathan Barnard (2017, PhD in Chemical Engineering), ‘Bubble plumes in stratified fluid: Insights into oceanic methane and runaway climate change’

3rd prize (oral presentation)

Amy Ainsworth (2019, PhD in German), ‘Unearthing the ecoGothic in Literary Plant Life of the Early Twentieth Century’

1st prize (poster presentation)

Fatima Eshani (2017, MB BChir in Clinical Medicine), ‘What should we advise young women about their fertility after treatment for cancer?’

2nd prize (poster presentation)

Alice McDowell (2015, PhD in Biochemistry), ‘How do sleeping sickness parasites interact with components of mammalian blood?’

You can download the 2021 Graduate Conference programme, which includes abstracts from all presentations, below.

Other highlights

Other conference events included a College Archives exhibition on art and architecture in College, and a photography exhibit by Dean of Chapel, The Rev’d James Crockford, featuring the College welfare dog, Pippy.

The College Choir and Director of Music, Richard Pinel, provided music. The conference also saw the debut performance of The May Vial, A Play, written and directed by Fred Kelly (2019, MPhil in English).

Bee Fonseka (2016, PhD in Chemistry) said: "The Graduate Conference was an event-packed afternoon: alongside the oral presentations were poster presentations, and a gallery of exhibits from College members. was a helpful platform to replicate the in-person feeling of a conference. We were able to interact and meet other postgrads and Fellows after listening to their incredible talks. I particularly enjoyed the poster presentation session, and the opportunity to join groups of College members to network. We had a real sense of community, with the attendance remaining the highest we have seen for the Graduate Conference to date throughout the afternoon."

Jasper Sim (2018, PhD in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics) presented a poster titled ‘Variation in quality of input and development of coda stops in bilingual children.’ He said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the last two graduate conferences as an attendee, as I got to learn about what my peers did in a fun and relaxed way. It is for the same reason that I took part as a presenter this year. The Graduate Conference this year was truly special; despite all that is going on, people at Jesus continued doing good work. It shows that nothing can really get in the way of our pursuit of knowledge and the passion for our subjects."