Science Extension Showcase – Ella Bonifer-Engelhardt

"I love this course because of its incredible freedom to research and delve into a topic of my interest," said Ella Bonifer-Elgelhardt.

“I have always had a passion for learning about veterinary medicine and hope to study it after school next year,” she said.

“With this course I was able to both demonstrate my preexisting abilities in the field of scientific research, and challenge my understanding of scientific concepts and discovery itself.”

“Science Extension allowed me to trial a real-life research scenario, as I hope to be involved in after school; speaking to researchers and veterinarians who are performing this research in reality.

“Science generally is incredibly fascinating to me. It allows me to be both incredibly creative and structured at the same time, whilst developing real innovative processes of thinking.”

For her Scientific Research Project, Ella researched the viability of Manuka honey gel as a topical treatment for bacterially contaminated equine distal limb wounds to reduce their healing times.

“Currently a range of topical treatments are used to treat these wounds which have been shown to make up 85% of wound cases in the equine industry, but also are incredibly difficult to treat due to a wide range of factors,” she said.

“With current concerns surrounding antibiotic resistance against such treatments, the search for alternatives is well underway. Manuka honey gel may provide a viable solution to this issue.

“Through my research and reanalysis of data, I tested whether my proposed method for a long term veterinary study using Manuka honey gel would decrease the healing times of these wounds. I showed that it was clearly a viable alternative treatment to current practice and has a bright future of implementation in the veterinary sector to decrease the burden of these very common wounds.”

Read her report here.