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Doctoral College

The last contender for the 3MT University Grand Final is chosen

Published: 4 April 2016
FNES winners
Elena and Harriet took the top titles at the FNES 3MT faculty final. Photo credit: Manon Duret, OES

PhD students from Natural and Environmental Sciences were the last to compete for a spot in the Three Minute Thesis Grand Final last Thursday.

Taking part in the last of the 3MT faculty finals, a mixture of Ocean and Earth Sciences (OES) and Biological Sciences doctoral researchers took to the front of the lecture theatre to present their research.

With just one static slide for company, and no props, singing or dancing allowed, the postgraduate researchers had just three minutes to explain their thesis.

Chosen by the Judging Panel, and also taking the People’s Choice award, was Elena Bollati from OES. Elena quickly drew the audience into her research, inviting us on an imaginary night dive to look at ‘glowing’ coral reefs.

Elena’s presentation was titled: 'Do coral reefs ‘glow with health’? How fluorescent proteins found in corals can help us understand and monitor an ecosystem in danger’.

Runner up for the competition was Harriet Moore, with an informative talk titled: ‘Climate change controls vegetation patterns and thus fire activity. Charcoal records can indicate how these patterns changed over time.’

On her win Elena said: “I am really happy to have won. I think 3MT is very good for couple of reasons: being able to speak and explain your research to the general public in a short amount of time is a real skill for scientists."

Elena went on to say that, secondly, she can get nervous when speaking in public, and she felt 3MT would be a good platform to push her out of her comfort zone. She said: "There is little room for error or nerves when you only have three minutes!"

The contestants who took part last week were:

  • Elena Bollati
  • Helen Knight
  • Harriet Moore


The next 3MT event is the University Grand Final on 12 May, which sees the winner of each faculty compete to be crowned the Grand Champion.

The University Grand Final will act as the opening event for the Festival of Doctoral Research.

For all the latest 3MT, Festival and Doctoral College news, follow us on Twitter @UoSDocCollege

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