"So many ground-breaking scientific discoveries never move beyond the pages of journals to public consciousness or public policy, partly because it's difficult to explain things briefly without sacrificing accuracy. That's why I'm so glad that I entered this contest. It forced me to refine this skill; one that I'm certain will serve me well throughout my career in science."
In his winning presentation, Samuel described his research which focused on the parasitic mite, varroa destructor, which is one of the main reasons for the decline in the honey bee population. Samuel’s research centred on finding out how this parasite was so destructive; focussing on what the parasite was eating and where on the honey bee they fed. His results showed that the parasite only fed on one specific part of the honey bee, the fat body tissue, an important tissue that controls nine major functions within the organism, including the storage of nutrients, the detoxification of pesticides and the production of the immune response. Now he knew what they were feeding on, he investigated whether it was possible to introduce an agent into this fat body tissue that can disrupt the reproductive cycle of the parasite and eliminate this pest once and for all.
Since winning the competition, Sammy (now 'Dr Sammy') has successfully passed his thesis defense, plus his presentation has been recognised by industry professionals in Latin America who are using his video as an educational resource.