Sky’s the limit for Dundee twins destined for a bright future

Thursday 30 June 2022

A bright future lies in store for Fergus and Callum Donnan of Birkhill near Dundee, who both celebrated gaining First Class Honours degrees in Astrophysics at the University of St Andrews today (Wednesday 29 June 2022).

The 23-year-old twins credit Monifieth High School and their physics teacher Miss Jones, in particular, for inspiring their interest in physics.

Since they began their five-year Integrated Masters in Physics at the University of St Andrews, the brothers have accumulated a plethora of prizes and medals as well as being awarded the Deans’ List each year for achieving 16.5 or more points in all modules across the academic year.

After completing their undergraduate degrees together, the brothers have now separated for the first time; they are both undertaking PhDs in Astrophysics, Fergus at Oxford University and Callum at Edinburgh University.

On Wednesday morning they attended a ceremony for St Andrews 2021 graduates with proud parents, mum Sandra and dad Peter, who is Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Dundee’s Medical School.

Professor Vivienne Wild and Professor Ian Bonnell of the School of Physics & Astronomy with Callum and Fergus

Commenting on their shared love of cosmology and black holes, they said that although they worked on different projects, it had been helpful to discuss theories and the work they were doing with each other.

Fergus and Callum were congratulated on their degree success by Professor Ian Bonnell, Head of the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, who said: “Excellent students are always a real pleasure to teach and in Fergus and Callum we were doubly rewarded. They both excelled throughout their degree, either alternating or sharing the class medals in each year.”

Professor Bonnell added: “Both Callum and Fergus have shown real promise as scientists, culminating their degrees with excellent research projects – and lead authorship on research publications – in very different aspects of astronomy, with Fergus investigating accretion onto black holes and Callum working on cosmology and the large-scale structure of the Universe.

“We see very bright futures for both of them.”

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

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