‘Who’s looking at who in the zoo’ wins 3MT grand final

October 13 / 121

3MT winner Sally Sherwyn with other 3MT contestants.
3MT winner Sally Sherwyn with other 3MT contestants.

PhD candidate Sally Sherwen of the Department of Agriculture and Food Systems has won first place and the 3RRR People’s Choice Award in this year’s 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Grand Final for her presentation ‘Who’s looking at who in the zoo?’

Ms Sherwen’s research looked at the impact of the regular presence of zoo visitors on a range of zoo animals, an area which remains poorly understood.

The annual research communication competition challenges PhD and Master of Philosophy students to present a compelling oration for a lay audience on their thesis topic, condensing their research into a 180 second presentation.

Ms Sherwen said winning 3MT was exciting because it further raised awareness about animal welfare and how visitors affect zoo animals.

“I’m so excited to win the University’s 3MT competition and even more excited that it means people enjoyed hearing about my research on zoo animals,” she said.

“Understanding these effects may provide opportunities to improve animal welfare, and in turn enhance the support for zoos and their role in education and species conservation.

“The 3MT has provided me with so much extra training as a researcher. I would not have developed these skills otherwise. I have also made some great friends throughout the process. It has definitely been one of the highlights of my PhD so far,” she said.

Equal second place was awarded to Mr Bernd Merkel from the University’s Department of Radiology and Dr Rahul Chakrabarti from the Department of Opthalmology/Centre for Eye Research Australia.

Mr Merkel’s research looked at physical activity as a preventative cure for 60+ year olds at risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr Charkrabarti presented guidelines to help prevent diabetic blindness in low-resource countries.

Ms Sherwen will compete against finalists from around Australia at the 2013 Trans-Tasman competition in Sydney in October.

More information: http://gradresearch.unimelb.edu.au/3MT/.

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