Mairi Bell was 16 when she took part in the project. This is what she had to say about her epxerience:
"I am just about to start my 6th year at Hazlehead Academy, where I hope to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics at Advanced Higher level. Near the end of my 5th year I was made aware of the Nuffield scheme and applied for a Nuffield Bursary and the opportunity to complete a project at Marine Scotland Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen. I was delighted to be given the project, where I would attempt to develop a new technique to determine if shrimp eggs were viable.
I have always had a keen interest in biology and molecular and marine biology have been areas I have often wanted to be further involved with, so I was delighted to be given the opportunity to undertake a scientific research project in this field. The project seemed mind-bogglingly complex to start with, but as we worked through the experiments and I read more about the project I gained a huge understanding of what it was we were actually trying to achieve, how we were going about it and why it was such a big deal! I got to grips with what we needed to try and do to successfully use fluorescent stains to determine the viability of crustacea eggs and eventually managed to develop a viable technique for staining shrimp eggs with a stain called Alexa Fluor 488.
Throughout the project I learned a huge amount about the field and gained a valuable insight into scientific research and techniques, mainly due to the inexhaustible patience and understanding of the mentors I was working with, as well as learning a lot about what I may want to do after I finish school, and hopefully university.
Although working very hard every day on their own jobs, my mentors put me at my ease and explained some fairly tricky science in a way that I was able to understand and more importantly make use of in my project
I would like to thank all the staff at Marine Scotland Science for all their help and encouragement during my project, I really enjoyed every minute of it."