Ruth Brooks from Totnes has been named the country’s best amateur scientist by the BBC.
Ruth’s snail experiments pipped other finalists to the post in the BBC Radio 4 Material World programme’s search for the country’s top amateur scientific minds.
Her field of study was the homing instinct of snails. Gardeners’ said snails did have a homing instinct, but scientists maintained snails were too simple an organism to have one.
Ruth’s experiments proved the scientists wrong. Dr Dave Hodgeson from Exeter University helped with the experiment. Here’s what the BBC’s website said:
Before the experiment started, he said he would be amazed if snails were shown to have a homing instinct.
“I am amazed,” he said.
Ruth that showed the snails had a homing instinct of up 30m, and Dr Hodgeson said he was keen to take the experiments further.