Garden blogs

Three Minute Thesis: Perfect Pastures for Pollinators

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As a PhD student with the National Botanic Garden of Wales and Swansea University, I study the pollinators you may not have heard of: hoverflies.

In May, I took part in the Swansea University Three Minute Thesis competition. 3MT® was a concept first created by the University of Queensland. It’s a challenge for PhD students to explain their thesis to a lay, intelligent audience in under three minutes. The rules are strict. You are allowed one static slide, with no transitions. You have to speak from a stage, with no gimmicks such as poems, dance, or costumes. You are expected to deliver your talk without notes, and of course, if you go over 3 minutes, even by a second, you are disqualified. If you put ‘three minute thesis’ into YouTube, you’ll find dozens of talks from all over the world.

As it happens, I didn’t win but I did come second; with a prize of £200 to spend on something related to my research. The winner, Shakiela Davies (who was superb!) goes on to the UK semifinal.

You can see my talk: ‘Perfect Pastures for Pollinators’ here…