The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) celebrates the exciting research conducted by PhD students. It is a skills development competition that challenges Higher Degree by Research students to explain their research project to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes and with only a single static slide permitted.

The School of Ag, Food and Wine heat was held on Wednesday June 20 and showcased some of the excellent students and exciting research programs here at Waite. The standard was high across all of the twelve participating students – congratulations to each of the contributors, the effort they all made to put together and present their 3MT talks was appreciated by the audience, which included a contingent of senior students from Urrbrae Agricultural High School, accompanied by teacher Ian Reed.

The audience heard about Erinne’s investigation of microbes coming to bbq dinners after wildfires; Jo’s bee research business helped them learn about an unexpected sting in bee tails; they discovered spectral fingerprints for boosting crop nutrition from Brooke; and scary soil substances from Emma.

Louise explained how yeast teams make the difference between a wine that sells and one that sits on the shelf; Ben discussed how to grow coal out of plants; Austin gave a neat acronym for Acid Sulfate Soils; and Kara portrayed the attack of nematodes on the most important meal of the day.

David Attenborough dropped into Annie’s investigation of managing vegetation; Christina envisaged our extinction from how much carbon there is to lose from ecosystems; a historic perspective of forest water use emerged from Manoj; and the students pictured Tom’s CRISPR yeast eating sugar all day and producing alcohol.

The quality presentations definitely made it a tough job for judges Chris Ford, Caitlin Byrt and Amanda Able!

Winners for the School heat, pictured right with the judges, were:

  • Ben Keiller – Peoples Choice and 1st place: Renewable, carbon-neutral COAL
  • Jo Parish – 2nd place: The biosecurity of bees business
  • Tom Lang – 3rd place: Better yeast for better wine with CRISPR/Cas9

Ben and Jo will now compete in the Faculty of Science 3MT final on Thursday evening 16th August. The winner and runner up of the Faculty final will then compete in the University Final to be held as part of the Research Tuesdays Lecture series on Tuesday 11 September 2018.

For more information, rules, prizes, and tickets to the finals, please visit:

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