Mhairi, malaria and talking science

From parasite-themed crafts to life drawing classes, who says science can’t be creative? We spoke to Dr Mhairi Stewart, a malaria expert, writer and self-confessed comic geek about why she enjoys sharing her science with others.


Who are you and what do you do?

Dr Mhairi Stewart. Post-doctoral researcher WTCMP. I study the sex life of the malaria parasite.

What brings you to Glasgow Science Festival this year?

I really enjoy taking part in the festival and telling the public about my research in a fun way. I hope to give people from 5 to 105 a better idea of what we do in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, and our audience also gives me a new perspective on my research. Often the most straightforward of questions can be the most challenging, so I love it when people ask me about what we do.

With the Commonwealth Games just around the corner, Glasgow is gearing up to welcome the world. What’s your top tip for visitors?

There is so much science and art in Glasgow make sure you look into the smaller venues too. There are all sorts of wee out of the way museums that are fascinating and free, like the Hunterian Zoology Museum. Also, look up. Even in the city centre the architecture is stunning, just look above the shop fronts.

Favourite Scottish food and drink?

Haggis and Froach. Or maybe Cranachan and a wee nip of whisky.

Impress us with your favourite science fact. Or joke.

Malaria, a single celled creature, uses the same proteins as we do to develop as a zygote.

Also, a single gram of human poo contains the remains of more bacteria than there are humans on the planet.

Meet Mhairi and friends for fun science at Kelvingrove Musuem on 7th and 8th June, parasite-themed crafts at Crafty Critters on 11th and 14th June and a science-themed art class with Under the Skin: Still Life on 15th June, with specimens from the Hunterian Zoology Museum.  All events are free and drop-in.


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