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World's biggest biology competition underway

Students hard at work in the competition Photo: Royal Society of Biology

More than 250 school children are competing in what's being billed as the world’s largest biology competition at the University of Warwick, as part of this year’s International Biology Olympiad.

Pupils from across 67 countries are in Coventry taking part in the competition, which will culminate in the winner being crowned as one of the best biology students in the world.

The students are currently taking part in a series of practical experiments and theoretical exams to test their biosciences knowledge as part of the week-long competition.

Four students were chosen from more than 7,500 to represent the UK at the event. They are James Baudry from Wellington College in Berkshire, Rebecca Eden from St Paul's Girls' School in London, William Chadwick from Reading School in Reading, and Jiaqi Chen from the Perse School in Cambridge.

The shortlisted UK team have been training at the Natural History Museum, Kew Gardens, Reading School and the University of Reading ahead of the big competition, studying subjects like:

  • Taxonomy
  • Classification
  • Botany
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy
Practical tests form a big part of this competition Credit: Royal Society of Biology

“We’re delighted that we’re able to host this year’s IBO here in the UK; a tremendous honour that we’ve been spending over five years preparing for.

These competitions not only give participants a chance to demonstrate their passion and knowledge of biology, but, just as importantly, allows them to meet their peers within the global biosciences community and really foster the importance of collaboration and international networking for these young scientists in the making.”

– Dr Andrew Treharne MBE FRSB, Chair of the UK IBO organising committee
Students taking part in biology tests in a bid to be among the world's best Credit: Royal Society of Biology

“The UK team has been training incredibly hard for this year’s competition, and we are so excited to demonstrate that our young biologists are of an exceptional standard and we are very proud of their achievements.

We’re so excited to welcome the teams from across the world to join us in Coventry for a week of not just friendly competition, but also a week of making lasting connections that hopefully will stay with these students for years to come.

This is a fantastic opportunity to not just build and strengthen bridges across the global biosciences community but to really showcase what Coventry has to offer.”

– Maggy Linford FRSB, lead for the UK team

The event ends on the 29th July, where students will receive medals for their achievements during the competition.