2018 UQ 3MT Winner Micha Jackson (centre), with Glinda Major from UniBank (left) and Professor Bronwyn Harch, UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
14 September 2018

PhD candidate Micha Jackson will represent The University of Queensland in the Asia-Pacific Three Minute Thesis Competition later this month, after winning the 2018 UQ 3MT Final.

The Faculty of Science student won a hotly contested final against eight UQ candidates, presenting her research into the habitat requirements of migratory shorebirds, ‘Maintaining the magic of migration’.

“My research shows that migratory shorebirds flying from Australia to the Arctic have come to depend on human-made wetlands to survive, and managing these to provide more habitat for the birds has significant potential to help declining species recover,” Ms Jackson said.

“Participating in 3MT has helped me to craft the messages we need to communicate beyond the academic community to get members of the public engaged and excited about research.

“It has also opened my eyes to some wonderful bodies of work being carried out by fellow PhD students across UQ’s schools, faculties and institutes.

“I hope to use the prize money to invest in further collaborations with colleagues in Australasia to help migratory shorebirds, and to learn more about these amazing birds on their mysterious far-northern breeding grounds.”

UQ Graduate School Dean Professor Alastair McEwan said 3MT was invaluable in enhancing research students’ presentation skills and had become a highlight of the annual research calendar. 

“The benefits of the 3MT competition are clearly demonstrated when you have presentations like Micha’s – the audience is engaged, and they become interested in finding out more about new research in Australia,” Professor McEwan said.

“It is exciting to think that this competition, developed at UQ in 2008, now runs on six continents in 66 countries.

“The 3MT competition gives PhD candidates the skills to showcase the amazing research they are doing around the world.”

UQ 3MT Final 2018, Winner - Micha Jackson from Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) on Vimeo.

Samantha Nixon from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience was runner up with her presentation ‘Fight creepy with crawly.’

The People’s Choice award went to the Faculty of Medicine’s Saurabh Bandhavkar for his offering, ‘Neural stem cells and the pursuit of happiness.’

UniBank General Manager, Mike Lanzing, said UniBank was delighted to support the researchers of the future.

“The UQ 3MT finalists were remarkable as they delivered their 80,000 word thesis in just three minutes,” Mr Lanzing said.

 “Well done everyone, and in particular Micha for her winning presentation.”

As the winner of the 3MT UQ Final, Micha will receive a $5,000 grant and compete against 54 PhD candidates representing universities across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia in the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition on Thursday 27 September at UQ.

Tickets to the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition are free but you need to register your attendance.

The presentations of all finalists of the UQ 3MT competition can be viewed here.

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