3 Minute Thesis

Graduate Studies

3 Minute Thesis


3 Minute Thesis

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Participants of the 2015 Ontario Competition

Queen's University sent Chenman (Cara) Yin to the 2015 3MT competition.

Chenman Yin

Name: Cara Yin
Program: Engineering & Applied Physics
Level: Masters
Title of Presentation: Seeing the world at the tip of a laser beam

Cara is a second year Master’s student in the physics department at Queen’s University. Her research focuses on ultrafast light matter interaction and its medical application in laser bone surgery. She also obtained her undergraduate degree at Queen’s in Engineering Physics, during which she got trained to approach problems like a physicist and apply knowledge like an engineer. Being an international student from China, Cara came to Canada in 2009 for education opportunities as well as for adventures.  Physics has become one of her best friends in Canada and she’d like to share her physics ideas with more people in a fun and engaging fashion by participating the Three Minute Thesis Competition.

The list of participants from other participating schools is below.

Brock University
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Matthew NiktozukName: Matthew Nikitczuk
Program: Earth Sciences
Level: Master's
Title of Presentation: Endolithic Microborings: Fossil Evidence of Glass-Eating Microbes

In 2013, Matthew graduated from Brock University with an (Honors) Bachelor of Science in Earth Sciences degree. He began work as an undergraduate Research Assistant to his current supervisor, Dr. Mariek Schmidt, in 2012 that lead to him taking on an undergraduate thesis project. He was also of the first group of students to receive the CSA-ASTRO award in 2012.  Matthew then went on to pursue a Master's degree in Earth Sciences continuing at Brock, taking the opportunity to carry on the work that began as an undergraduate thesis. This also provided a unique opportunity to be involved as a student collaborator with NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission and continue working with Dr. Schmidt, who is one of the participating scientists on the MSL mission.

Matthew's research project focuses on a volcanic field in Oregon as a potential Martian analog. The work examines how volcanic rocks alter in the presence of hydrothermal fluids and how minerals can be used to reconstruct paleo-environmental conditions.  Examining the record of unexpectedly discovered microscopic fossils inside the rocks and their relationships with alteration minerals helps to characterize the range of habitable environments on Earth, with astrobiological implications. In order to understand the things beyond Earth, we must first understand the Earth.

Carleton University
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Ann MorneauName: Ann Morneau
Program: Women's and Gender Studies
Level: Master's
Title of Presentation: Knitting Takes balls

Ann Morneau graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honors Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminology in 2005.  She worked in the private sector after graduation, and returned to school in 2010, where she completed Algonquin College’s Victimology graduate certificate.  She has worked on the Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) National Demonstration Project with the Church Council on Justice and Corrections for three years, and recently began working as a workshop facilitator in the Enriched Support Program at Carleton University, where she assists students in achieving their goals of getting into their degree program.  She is currently in her second year of her Master’s of Arts in Women’s and Gender studies at Carleton University.

University of Guelph
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Meghan YipName: Meghan Yip
Level: MSc
Title of Presentation: Can we use the skin of our feet for better balance?

Meghan Yip recently completed her MSc under the guidance of Dr. Leah Bent. Her research has contributed to our understanding of how sensory input helps us balance. Meghan developed a passion for effectively communicating research, healthy living, and science to various audiences during her graduate studies. She further developed this passion by contributing to volunteer initiatives like the Ms Infinity Ontario science program and the Human Kinetics 5k Run Fundraiser. Meghan is excited for the opportunity to share her work at the 3MT Provincial Competition and hopes to continue communicating science and research in the future.

Lakehead University

Erica SawulaName: Erica Sawula
Program: Public Health
Level: Masters
Title of Presentation:On the Road Again: Improving Safe Driving in Seniors

Erica Sawula received an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences from Queen’s University, followed by a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication at Laurentian University. She combines what she learned in these two programs as a second-year student in the Master of Public Health program at Lakehead University. Erica has a strong interest in applied health research, and she has remained dedicated to health-related research throughout her university career as a Research Assistant at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Erica currently works as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Research on Safe Driving at Lakehead University. Erica looks forward to translating her research on safe driving in older adults into action, with the intent to keep drivers on the road for as long as possible, as safely as possible.

Laurentian University

SEan BoyleName: Sean Boyle
Title of Presentation: A "Shocking" Model for Mitigation

I am interested in ecology, evolution and conservation broadly, but currently am focused on the effects roads have on wild populations. These effects can be obvious like road mortality, or less apparent, such as the effects of habitat fragmentation. There are 50 million kilometres of roads world wide, and as such roads in and of themselves are a major conservation concern.  This concern is compounded by the way in which roads give way to opportunities for new roads, especially in biodiversity hotspots. The main theory in which my thesis is rooted is the development and evaluation of techniques designed to mitigate or prevent negative road effects from causing population level declines or shifts.

McMaster University
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Teng GuoName: Teng Guo
Program: Automotive Research and Technology
Level: M.A.Sc.
Title of Presentation: Double Rotor Motor: Making 1+1>2

Teng Guo received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University in 2012. Recently, he finished his Master of Applied Science Degree at the McMaster Institute for Automotive Research and Technology (MacAUTO). Teng has a strong interest in mechanical design and automotive technology. His thesis is on novel electric machine design for hybrid electric vehicles. 

Teng is from China and he had all his post-secondary education in Canada. He is proud of having cultural backgrounds of both countries. When he is not engineering on machines, Teng loves doing all kinds of outdoor activities, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing and snowboarding. He is a trip leader of the McMaster Outdoor Club. Teng is also a marathon runner and fundraiser for the Engineers Without Borders.

Nipissing University
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Lacey BatemanName:Lacy Bateman
Program: History
Level: Master's
Title of Presentation: Stories of Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada: Understanding the Case of Helen Betty Osborne

Lacy Bateman has attended Nipissing University for the past five years. Within this time, she completed both her Undergraduate Degree in History and her Bachelor of Education degree through the Concurrent Education program. With more than four years of research experience within the history department, she decided to pursue the one-year Master’s in History program at Nipissing. Now in her sixth year, Lacy is also considering pursuing her Doctorate within her areas of interest, which include, but are not limited to, Gender History, Indigenous Methodologies, Modern Canadian History, and Social Justice. 

Lacy’s current research examines the story of Helen Betty Osborne’s life, a Cree woman from Norway House, Manitoba, who had to leave her family, friends, and home to pursue her education in The Pas, Manitoba. While in The Pas, Osborne was brutally murdered by four white men. Lacy’s project will examine Indigenous and Western sources from 1969-1991 to help tell Osborne’s story, exploring her murder, the sixteen years of silence in her case, and what her story tells historians about Indigenous women’s experiences in twentieth-century Canada.

OCAD University
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Amy SatterthwaiteName: Amy Satterthwaite
Program: Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation
Level: Master's
Title of Presentation: Foresight for Every Kid

Amy Satterthwaite is pursuing a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University, with an interest in educational transformation. Her thesis project explores the potential uses of foresight – the process of critically imagining possible futures in order to inspire people to lead more considered lives in the present – as a tool for academic leverage for students living in poverty.  Her work attempts to reveal the hidden assumptions schools and teachers make about children’s relationships to the future, and the extent to which academic success is dependent upon students’ ability to imagine what lies ahead.  Amy’s preferred vision of the future includes ‘foresight for every kid.’

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Michael Williams-BellName: Michael Williams-Bell
Program: Applied Bioscience
Level: PhD
Title of Presentation:The effects of uncompensable heat stress on cognitive function in fire fighters

Michael Williams-Bell is completing his PhD in Applied Bioscience at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology examining the effects of heat stress on cognitive function in fire fighters. Michael obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the University of Waterloo where he determined the physical demands and air requirements during simulated fire fighting tasks in a high rise structure and subway system. He has also looked at the metabolic demands and performance measures of the Candidate Physical Abilities Test. Michael has published his research in scientific journals and presented his findings at the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology’s Annual Research Conference where he was a Graduate Student Award Finalist, as well as at the upcoming American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting as an International Award recipient, and at various Regional and Provincial Fire Fighter Health and Safety conferences. Michael has been supported during his graduate studies through the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship, the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, the Australian Endeavour Award, and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship. His on-going research, collaborating with the Toronto Fire Service, is aimed at understanding the physiological demands required of fire fighters and improving the health and safety of the profession.

University of Ottawa
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Benjamin MillerName: Benjamin Miller
Program: Law
Level: LLM
Title of Presentation: Caring Justice - Rethinking 3 Big Things in Canadian Law

Benjamin completed his BSocSci with a major in political science and philosophy at the University of Ottawa. He is now, under the superb guidance of Prof. Sophie Bourgault, bringing together these two disciplines in an attempt to unify the past 30 years of care ethics research in the field of law. His hope is in equal parts theoretical and practical aiming to contribute to a novel way to think about and develop legal policy. His research interests also include care and bureaucracy, policy knowledge in Canada, and campus clubs and society. When he’s not researching, he enjoys administration for worthy causes,  community radio, and Smash Bros.

Royal Military College of Canada
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Deborah DurbinName: Deborah Durbin
Program: Computational  and Materials Chemistry
Level: PhD
Title of Presentation:Reducing Global Warming: Investigating Alternative Fuel Storage in Automobiles

Deborah Durbin earned an Honours Bachelors of Science at McMaster University before coming to the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) for a Doctor of Philosophy in computational and materials chemistry. At RMCC, Deborah has lectured on Introductory Chemistry for five years, sat on the civilian student council, and currently represents the college at the Council of Ontario Universities’ Research Matters campaign. Deborah spent several years of her doctoral studies on exchange at the University of Bristol in England.
In her free time, Deborah is a keen athlete, regularly completing 10-kilometre open water swims and half marathon runs; writer, with a monthly blog in H2Open magazine; and traveler.
After successfully defending her thesis in December 2014, Deborah is pursuing opportunities for post docs and science communication.

Ryerson University
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Jaclyn LindnerName: Jaclyn Ludmer
Program: Clinical Psychology
Level: PhD
Title of Presentation:Understanding Infants’ Genetic and Environmental Risk for Depression

Jaclyn Ludmer graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2013. She began her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Ryerson University in September 2013, and will begin her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Ryerson University in September 2015. Her research is conducted in the area of developmental psychopathology, the study of the biological, psychological, and social factors that influence the trajectory of children’s typical and atypical development. Her thesis project explores infants’ genetic and early environmental risk factors for depression. She collaborates with other psychologists, psychiatrists, geneticists, and physiologists in a truly multidisciplinary approach to the study of developmental psychopathology.

University of Toronto
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Stephen McCarthyName: Stephen McCarthy
Program: Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
Level: PhD
Title of Presentation: Towards an Ebola Cure

Stephen McCarthy is Ph.D. candidate in the department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology under the supervision of Dr. Donald Branch.  At Canadian Blood Services he performs basic research on HIV and Ebola-like viruses, to find novel ways to inhibit these viruses using existing drugs.  He is committed to cure research with an impact, because many of those afflicted by either virus face stigma, social and economic barriers to proper treatment.  A concerned citizen, Stephen actively volunteers with the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) and, together with Canadian Blood Services, he created the first ally blood donor drive last year during World PRIDE in Toronto.
Stephen is a CIHR Vanier Scholar, and actively mentors and volunteers in the LMP department.  He is the former student union president in LMP, earnestly teaches new graduate students presentation and scholarship writing skills, and co-organized the departmental graduate conference for two years.  He is passionate about teaching, helping others, and sharing science so that everyone can participate in these conversations.

Trent University
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Anna RookeName: Anna Rooke
Program: Environmental & Life Sciences
Level: PhD
Title of Presentation: In Hot Water: Can Fish Physiology Adapt to a Warming Climate?

Anna is a Ph.D. candidate in the Environmental and Life Sciences Program at Trent University under the supervision of Dr. Michael Fox. 

Her research uses non-native freshwater fish to explore whether wild populations can adapt to rapid changes in climate. Ultimately, her research can be used to predict how non-native populations will respond to introduced climates, and how native populations will respond to future changes in climate. Anna is passionate about science education and communication: she routinely mentors undergraduate honor's theses, participates as a volunteer judge in regional science fairs, and is a long-time supporter of a Trent University graduate student lecture series which promotes cross-disciplinary communication on campus.

You can follow all her fishy adventures on Twitter: @RookeAC ​

University of Waterloo
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Julie DeWolfName: Julie DeWolf
Program: Environment & Resource Studies
Level: Master's
Title of Presentation: Linking Constitutional Rights and the Environment in the Canadian Legal System

Julie is a 2015 Master’s candidate in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Neil Craik. She graduated from the University of Victoria, Faculty of Law in 2013, where she completed a concentration in Environmental Law and Sustainability. This included an intensive clinical program with the Environmental Law Centre, where she provided pro bono legal work for conservationists and First Nations. The current focus of her work is on the application of s. 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to an environmental context. Specifically, her work looks at the role of procedural fairness as a principle of fundamental justice in regulatory approval processes. Julie is excited to begin her legal career this summer as an articling student with Rogers Partners LLP in Toronto.

Western University
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Jenna ButlerName: Jenna Butler
Program: Bioinformatics
Level: PhD
Title of Presentation: Computing a Cure for Cancer

Jenna graduated from Western in 2009 with an HBSc in Bioinformatics. She went on to pursue a Masters and fast tracked into the PhD program, both under the supervision of Mark Daley.  She recently submitted her thesis and will be defending in May. During her 6 years in graduate school, Jenna enjoyed working on her thesis, but also spent her time teaching undergraduate classes and completing three industrial internships at Microsoft in Redmond, WA. She is looking forward to starting her career full time at Microsoft this summer. Outside of work, Jenna has a growing family with two sweet daughters and a wonderful husband. They enjoy running, soccer and cooking in their spare time.

Wilfrid Laurier University
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Logan TownsendName:Logan Townsend
Program: Kinesiology & Physical Education
Level: Masters
Title of Presentation: Weight Loss in Females

Logan is currently a  MSc student in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University. He completed his undergraduate studies in Kinesiology (with a minor in philosophy) at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.  While completing an undergraduate research project focusing on the metabolic response to high-intensity interval training in males and females (published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism), Logan became interested in the effect of female sex hormones and how they may affect the response to exercise.  

Through his current work, Logan hopes to expand on the understanding of how hormonal interactions influence food intake in women, which will provide important information on fat loss mechanisms in females.  Logan is very involved in the Laurier community, sitting on several committees including the Board of Directors for Laurier’s Graduate Student Association. When he isn’t working Logan enjoys being physically active - especially rock climbing.

University of Windsor
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Anna Creater-PotterName: Anna Crater-Potter
Program: Chemistry & Biochemistry
Level: Master's
Title of Presentation: "Please leave a message"

Anna is from a small rural town in the heart of Michigan.  In 2007 she graduated from Spring Arbor University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Biochemistry and a minor in Spanish.  Two years later she received her Bachelor of Education and is certified to teach secondary Chemistry, Biology and Spanish.  In the fall of 2009, she joined the Ananvoranich lab in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Windsor.  She currently studies infectious diseases with a focus on the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.  Anna’s work investigates RNA regulation in T. gondii with an emphasis on the functions and roles of endogenous microRNAs.  In her free time she enjoys outdoor running.  Her most recent race was the Detroit International Marathon.  This summer she plans to take her 7 month old son with her on his first race.

York University
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Joshua MuggName: Joshua Mugg
Program: Philosophy of Psychology and Mind
Title of Presentation: How many minds do we need? Toward a one-system account o human reasoning

Joshua Mugg works in philosophy of psychology and mind. His research centres on human rationality and the nature of belief. In his dissertation, he criticizes dual-process theories of reasoning on both empirical and conceptual grounds, arguing that there is just one reasoning system that operates in several different modes. In addition to continuing to develop his one-system alternative to dual-process theory, his future research will focus on arguing for the claims that ethical considerations can (and should) constrain our beliefs and that we have some control over what we believe. Mugg has worked on the epistemology and cognitive science of implicit racism, and is a proud native of St. Louis, Missouri.