Winner of the Faculty of Science 3 Minute Thesis competition announced

Sarah McColl-Gausden from the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences won the competition with her thesis presentation on changes to the spread of fire in south-east Australia.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition challenges PhD candidates to present their thesis in appropriate language to an intelligent but non-specialist audience in the space of three minutes.

The competition is based on the premise that the capacity to present a clear, concise and engaging description of their research is an essential skill that all graduate researchers should develop.  It also brings the University’s graduate research community together in a spirited and research-focused activity, inspiring them to share their findings with the wider community.

Sarah was awarded first place by both the judges and in the public vote. Equal runners up were Nilakhi Poddar from the School of Chemistry, and Emily McColl-Gausden from the School of BioSciences.

You can view Sarah’s winning presentation and the presentations of the runners up below.

Register to attend the University's 3MT competition.

Sarah McColl-Gasuden (Ecosystem and Forest Sciences)

Sarah’s PhD brings together field data and fire simulation modelling to examine changes to the fire regime under a changing climate in south-eastern Australia. Her project looks at the implications for biodiversity under predicted changes, including those most vulnerable to the joint threats of altered fire regimes and changing climate.

View Sarah’s 3MT video.

Nilakhi Poddar (Chemistry)

Arsenic is a toxic metalloid and can be found as contaminants in drinking water. Arsenic can build-up in our body and cause neurodegenerative disorders or cancers. Even though it is toxic to human beings, there are bacteria in the environment that feed on arsenic and proteins in the bacteria that bind to arsenic. Nilakhi's research aims to study the metabolic system of one such bacterium so that scientists can develop an efficient biosensor to detect arsenic in drinking water.

View Nilakhi’s 3MT video.

Emily McColl-Gausden (BioSciences)

Emily’s PhD focuses on environmental DNA (eDNA), which can be used to identify animals from environmental samples, like river water. A major component of the project is the Great Australian Platypus Search where eDNA is being used to help understand platypus distribution and threats across south-eastern Australia.

View Emily’s 3MT video.