Issue 8 - 3 September 2012 enews home

RIEL postgrad takes out NT Three Minute Thesis title

By Louise Errington

PhD student Mr Matthew Brien was presented with the Overall Winner and People's Choice awards at the recent NT Three Minute Thesis competition by judges Mr Stephen Smyth, Professor Sharon Bell and Mr Chris Lugg

In a well-waged war of words, six Charles Darwin University research higher degree students duelled for prize-money and notoriety at the recent Three Minute Thesis competition.

The Three Minute Thesis was held at CDU's Casuarina campus, and represented the NT leg of a combined Australian and New Zealand research communication competition.

Challenged with the task to consolidate their ideas and research discoveries in a compelling oration of just three minutes, PhD and Master by Research students explained their research topic and its significance to a non-specialist audience.

This year's competition was judged by CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Sharon Bell, Senior Lecturer of Engineering and former NT Minister of Education Mr Chris Lugg, and Director of SNS Writing and Communications Mr Stephen Smyth.

First place was taken by Matthew Brien from CDU's Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, whose absorbing delivery of his thesis entitled "How to grow dinosaurs: the big problem with little crocodiles" also saw him take the People's Choice award.

Mr Brien won $2000 in prize-money, as well as the honour of representing the NT at the Trans-Tasman competition at the University of Queensland in Brisbane on 11 October 2012. Here he will compete for a share of $8000 in research travel grants.

Ms Maia Berman, a student jointly enrolled at the University of Montpellier 2, won second place and $500 prize-money for the delivery of her thesis "Man-made fire: highway to invasion hell in New Caledonia".

Ms Berman is assessing the impact of invasive ants and man-made fire on the native New Caledonian ant diversity.