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Congratulations to Germany’s twelve best young biology students

27. February 2017

Last week the Nation’s best 45 biology students, from 1,700 competitors, met at the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN) to get to know each other and to find out who will make it into the next round for a ticket to the International Biology Olympiad in Coventry, Great Britain this July.

The week started out with seminars and crash courses to provide everybody with similar background information, before having to sit for a number of challenging practical test in botanic, zoology, and physiology. This was followed by a 4.5 hour written examination that covered all the main fields of biology. While the students then enjoyed some well-earned leisure time the tests were marked and a ranking established.

On Thursday they took a trip to the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg. The students listened to presentations about the malaria virus and its expansion in Germany. The Eppendorf Company hosted the ceremonial announcement of the 12 students who made it into the fourth and final qualifying round for the 2017 International Biology Olympiad. Prof. Wimmer-Schweingruber of Kiel University’s Physics Department held a special lecture about the Mars Science Laboratory and its potential for research in biology. The entire ceremony was accompanied by the Ricarda Huch School’s jazz combo.


Germany’s best 12 young talents in biology are:

Place 1: Paul Bunck, Gymnasium Penzberg (Penzberg)
Place 2: Jonas Vetter, Humboldt-Gymnasium Potsdam (Potsdam)
Place 3: Bruno Ederer, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)
Place 4: Lea Korn, Bismarck-Gymnasium (Karlsruhe)
Place 5: Rebecca Zierold, Carl-Zeiss-Gymnasium (Jena)
Place 6: Helene Dietrich, Max-Steenbeck-Gymnasium (Cottbus)
Place 7: Jessica Kirchner, Gymnasium Augustinianum (Greven)
Place 8: Moritz Richter, Städtisches Gymnasium (Riesa)
Place 9: Johannes Gigla, Katharineum zu Lübeck (Lübeck)
Place 10: Jakob Hofmann, Georg-Cantor-Gymnasium (Halle)
Place 11: Susanne Vollmer, Priv.
Norbert-Gymnasium (Dormagen)
Place 12: Theresa Kristin Beyme, Werner-von-Siemens-Gymnasium (Magdeburg)


Besides the qualification certificates for the final round there were numerous non-cash prizes, particularly the various coveted internship opportunities. The internships, covering various research areas in biology, are organized and financially supported by the Society of Friends of the Biology Olympiad. They are for plant physiology at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces (MPI) in Potsdam Golm; biology mathematics at the University of Sheffield, Great Britain; and internships at the Heidelberg University Hospital’s Institute of Hygiene, the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and the summer school of the Weizmann Institute, Israel. The four best among the youngest contestants (year 2000 and younger) made it into the final round to compete for a ticket to the European Science Olympiad next month in Potsdam. Additionally six students will go the Neuroscience Olympiad.

In June the twelve finalists will return to the IPN in Kiel to vie for their spot on the German national team, competing in the 28th International Biology Olympiad in Coventry, Great Britain.

Special thanks goes to the staff of the biology lab of the IPN, the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine and the Eppendorf Company in Hamburg, and particularly to the Society of Friends of the Biology Olympiad for their great support.


PD Dr Burkhard Schroeter
phone: 0431 / 880 3135
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