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Royal Society of Biology supports Native Scientist activity

Pupils in Edinburgh will immerse in an adventure on the origin of life on Earth and the search for life in the universe thanks to a grant awarded by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), through its Outreach and Engagement grant scheme.

“Living in the Extreme” is a dedicated Edinburgh programme which intends to explore different biological concepts enclosed in the astrobiology field, a relatively new research area that brings together scientists from different fields. It explores the origin, evolution, and distribution of life on Earth and throughout the Universe. The programme is designed to capture pupils’ attention to biology, highlighting the cooperative effort between different scientific fields to understand how life works. Pupils will first meet scientists at their Saturday school, Lusofonias, and will then be taken on a tour to the National Museum of Scotland.

Native Scientists will support the organisation of these two events, which will be led by Lara Alegre and Dr. Ana Catarino, from the Edinburgh University and the Heriot-Watt University, respectively. Ana, an RSB member and Native Scientist project manager, says “these activities will encourage young pupils to think about life in a holistic and interdisciplinary manner and help them understand the collaborative nature of STEM sciences. It will also strengthen their curiosity while promoting the connection to their heritage language”.

Joana Moscoso and Tatiana Correia, founders of Native Scientist mentioned that “the RSB grant will enable the organisation of an original set of events that will deepen the impact of our science in society”.

The Royal Society of Biology ( is a professional body for bioscientists – providing a single unified voice for biology: advising Government and influencing policy; advancing education and professional development; supporting their members, and engaging and encouraging public interest in the life sciences.

The Outreach and Engagement grant scheme ( is an initiative that allows members of the Royal Society of Biology to apply for up to £500 to fund an event or activity in their local area that engages people with biology.

Dr Ana I. Catarino is a NERC Research Associate at the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences at the Heriot-Watt University, UK. Ana has coordinated Native Scientist events in Scotland since 2014. She loves mountain hiking and is fluent in four languages. Ana tweets @Zebrazuli.

Lara is a PhD candidate at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh and she has been involved in outreach and science communication activities since 2010. She has been responsible for a series of activities that bring biology and astronomy together, which include searching for life in the Universe, the origin of life on Earth, exoplanets, habitable zones and life in extreme environments.

Native Scientist is a non-profit organisation based in the UK that develops and implements projects aimed at promoting science and language literacy among migrants and through role model interaction. Founded in 2013, it reaches over 1000 pupils a year and counts with a network of 800+ international scientists in Europe.

For more information on the upcoming events please contact Native Scientist at and


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