STEPS-sponsored student gets Masters at Edinburgh University
The student Daniel Borg recently graduated with a Masters in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants from the University of Edinburgh
He was sponsored by the Strategic Educational Pathways Scholarship (STEPS), which is part-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) under Operational Programme II – Cohesion Policy 2007-2013, ‘Empowering People for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life’.
The course was based at the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh, one of the leading botanical gardens in Europe which possesses an extensive herbarium collection containing 3 million plant specimens representing half to two thirds of the world's flora.
As part of his course, Daniel was trained in several areas of botany including plant family identification, plant systematics, DNA sequencing and herbarium work. The course also included a 2 week trip to Belize, where he was trained in tropical plant identification, fieldwork techniques and plant collection.
His dissertaton examined the characteristics and relationships of two tropical plant groups (Englerophytum and Synsepalum). He provided further evidence of their close-relatedness and recognized morphologically similar sub-groups within them by extracting and analyzing their DNA.