Tshiamo Legoale from South Africa, winner of FameLab 2017 ©


FameLab International Final 2017

Tshiamo Legoale, a geologist from South Africa, became the FameLab 2017 International Champion and Audience Vote Winner at the Cheltenham Science Festival on 8 June. She beat 31 science communicators from across the world to do so.

Tshiamo’s winning talk on phytomining was informative and inspiring. She described how plants can absorb specific metals from the environment into their tissues and how this process can be used to literally harvest gold from wheat.

'FameLab is fun! It’s educative, informative and a challenge. It challenges you as a person, as a scientist, and as a communicator. And best, it turns you into a communicator if you aren’t one.' 
Tshiamo Legoale

Two runners-up took second place: Nicole Tanner (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) representing Hong Kong and Nural Cokcetin (University of Technology Sydney) representing Australia.

Hundreds of people watched the final live at the Parabola Arts Centre in Cheltenham. The judges were Ellen Stofan (former Chief Scientist at NASA), Jim Al-Khalili (theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster) and Tim Slingsby (Director of Skills and Education at Lloyd's Register Foundation).