Jacques Bouvier

Jacques Bouvier

Lorna Casselton Memorial Scholarship

Joining us from: Leicester, UK

DPhil Interdisciplinary Bioscience (2019)

With parents hailing from either side of the Channel, I was born and raised in the proud English city of Leicester. After completing my education at local state schools in the East Midlands, I then went on to study an undergraduate degree in biology at The University of Sheffield. Although this program I had enrolled on was broad and all-encompassing by design, my passion for biology and the environment became quickly channelled during my degree onto sustainability. Specifically, I became interested in food production and the application of science as a means to maximise the efficiency of this industry. This focus is founded on the premise that if we wish to preserve the natural world as we recognise it today - with its glorious and quirky phenomena which we are still in the process of unravelling - we need to give nature space to flourish, and this can only be realistically achieved in the face of increasing climatic and population pressures by employing a science-conscious and modern approach to agriculture.

At The University of Oxford, I am an Interdisciplinary Bioscience DPhil candidate and the recipient of the Lorna Casselton Memorial Scholarship held by St Cross College. I am based in the Department of Plant Sciences, where my DPhil research aims to explore and test synthetic strategies to enhance the photosynthetic performance of plants as a means to engineer higher yielding crops. The Lorna Casselton memorial scholarship which I have been awarded is quite simply the reason as to why I am able to be here today, and I am eternally grateful to both the college and its funders for its existence. For me, the bursary has unlocked the door to Oxford, and I am conscience to pay this back by taking full advantage of my privileged position and the countless opportunities for personal and academic growth and development on offer around campus. As a proud member of the diverse and inspiring community at St Cross, I am actively engaged in college life and enjoy the fertile platform available here for networking, collaboration, and friendship. Further, during non-covid times, I have also been involved in college sport and am in charge of organising our squash side. I look forward to completing the rest of my time in Oxford with a smile painted on my face.