Ontario Competition

Ontario Competition

Ontario Competition

Ontario Competition

Did you miss the live event? Check out the full recordings of each presentation on the SGSPA YouTube channel!

A celebration of innovative research by graduate students in Ontario. 3MT LogoAfter seeing the success of the Three Minute Thesis competition in Australia and New Zealand, it was only a matter of time before Universities in Ontario decided to not only run their own events but also have a province-wide competition.

In 2012, Queen's, Western and McMaster got together to discuss running an Ontario competition, based on the rules of the original 3MT from the University of Queensland.  It was decided that Queen's would host the inaugural competition, with McMaster in 2014 and Western in 2015.  

When the call to see how much interest in the rest of the province for the competition, it was incredible to hear that all had an interest and 16 actually registered for the first competition in 2013. Interesting to note that other than Queen's and Western, no other Ontario University had actually run their own event yet!

Queen's University hosted the 2023 Ontario 3-Minute Thesis at the beautiful lakefront Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, 17th May.

Participating Universities Include:

  • Brock University
  • Carleton University
  • University of Guelph
  • Lakehead University
  • Laurentian University
  • Nipissing University
  • Ontario Tech University
  • Queen's University
  • University of Toronto
  • Toronto Metropolitan University
  • Trent University
  • Wilfrid Laurier University

See the full details of the participants and their presentation topics below.

2023 Participants

Karl Granthamtest

Program/Degree: Master's in Computer Science

Supervisor: Dr. Yifeng Li

Presentation: AI Enabled Drug Design and Side Effect Prediction Powered by Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms and Transformer Models

Georgia Loewentest

Program/Degree: Master's in Human-Computer Interaction

Supervisor: Dr. Audrey Girouard

Presentation: Video Game Accessibility and Wearable Technology


Cassidy Van Stiphouttest

Program/Degree: Master's in Biomedical Science

Supervisor: Dr. Alicia Viloria-Petit

Presentation: A Holmes Investigation: Who Is the Cancer Spreader?


Alexis Harveytest

Program/Degree: Master's in Health Sciences

Supervisor: Dr. Helle Møller

Presentation: Training the Socially-Responsible Healthcare Provider


Victoria Camptest

Program/Degree: Master's of Science Communication

Supervisor: Dr. Michelle Reid and Dr. Chantal Barriault

Presentation: Public opinion, social media, and the tailings industry


Wanxin (Esther) Litest

Program/Degree: Doctorate in Developmental Psychology

Supervisor: Dr. Alexandra Gottardo

Presentation: First language loss and maintenance in youth and adolescents with immigrant backgrounds


Jacqueline Girardtest

Program/Degree: Master's of Arts in History

Supervisor: Dr. Katrina Srigley

Presentation: Where are the Mothers? Unwed Mothers and the Hôpital de la Miséricorde, PQ from 1950 to 1970.


Sarah Rijkenbergtest

Program/Degree: Doctorate in Applied Bioscience

Supervisor: Dr. Andrea Kirkwood

Presentation: Go Fish: Using plankton characteristics to monitor Ontario's fish populations


El Zahraa Majedtest

Program/Degree: Doctorate in Kinesiology and Health Studies

Supervisor: Dr. Lucie Lévesque

Presentation: How to Belong? Physical Activity as a Vehicle for Integration


Jocelyne Mendez-Guzmantest

Program/Degree: Master's of Molecular Science

Supervisor: Dr. Dustin Little

Presentation: Hijackers in my Gut? It's More Likely than You Think


Emily Majaesic - University of Toronto test

Program/Degree: Doctorate in Biological Chemistry

Supervisor: Dr. Walid A. Houry

Presentation: Catch a Protein by Its Tail


Jordan Tilltest

Program/Degree: Master's in Psychology

Supervisor: Dr. Laura J. Summerfeldt

Presentation: Paint Me a Picture: Longitudinal Symptom Stability in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder



Rob Bakertest

Rob Baker is best known as a member of The Tragically Hip.

A graduate of Queen’s University (BFA’86), he has put his visual arts studies to use as the art director for The Hip, designing album packaging and merchandise. His band Stripper’s Union has released three albums.

Rob was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and in 2017 Rob was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. 

Rob has always been a big supporter of his community, giving his time, money, and profile to local and national charities with a focus on medical, musical, and environmental causes. 

Rob has been a judge for the provincial 3MT ever since it’s inception in 2013.

Mary Wilson Tridertest

Mary Wilson Trider is Chair of the Board of Trustees at Queen's University.

She is a proud graduate of the Smith School of Business and an FCPA, FCA. In addition to serving on the Board, Mary is a member of University Council.

Having spent most of her career in hospitals in Ontario, Mary is currently President & CEO of Almonte General Hospital and Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital. Working in a sector famous for acronyms nobody can decipher and where important conversations occur every day with people who are facing fear, uncertainty and potentially life-altering situations, she is very aware of the importance of clear, logical and engaging communication of complex messages.

Mary is delighted to have been asked to participate in the Three Minute Thesis Championship.  

Lucy van Oldenbarneveldtest

As a host and reporter with decades of experience interviewing guests Lucy van Oldenbarneveld is now turning her communications skills to helping others deliver clear, concise messages as a media trainer.

For the past 20 years Lucy’s main pursuit has been journalism. First as a CBC radio host and then as the evening news anchor on CBC TV in Ottawa.  Her work was recognized with a Canadian Screen Award win in 2020, numerous Gemini nominations and the Gold World Medal for Best Talk /Interview program at the New York festival.

In her new role with Lucy van Oldenbarneveld Communications (LvOC) she helps you make sense of the media landscape,  understand what journalists are looking for and then gets you ready to face their questions with confidence. This means crafting your message and then practicing the skills needed to stay on that message.

Lucy has delivered media training courses to Syrian and Yemeni political exiles in Berlin and Istanbul. The training helped them understand how to get their stories covered more widely and conduct concise, purposeful interviews on issues in their homelands.

Lucy travelled to Africa numerous times to teach journalism in Rwanda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. She also lead critical thinking workshops for young women in Lesotho.

In 2012 she won the prestigious Founder’s Award at the Yorkton Film Festival for her work as director of the documentary North Boys. Lucy first joined CBC Ottawa in 2003, she worked as a field reporter and Friday host of the popular radio show Ottawa Morning before becoming CBC Ottawa’s evening news anchor. She’s also worked for Deutsche Welle world radio service in Cologne Germany as a reporter and host. 

Before that Lucy was the Host/Producer of the afternoon show in Whitehorse Yukon.

She has worked as a voice actor in Beijing, (the English voice for millions of Chinese children learning the language) Lucy has a soft spot for bad 80’s pop songs.

Tara McCallantest

Tara is a quirky writer, #hashtagjunkie, fan of inclusion, adoring/annoyed wife, minivan momma to 3 kids and runs a non-profit called Happy Soul Project that celebrates the beauty in differences.

Inspired by her daughter Pip, Tara has become a passionate Advocate, who loudly preaches the importance of representation & fights for Disability Rights.

While Tara has given a TED Talk as well as other keynote speeches across Canada & the U.S, Pip whose had over 20 surgeries & has a dozen-different-disabilities just filmed her first Disney movie, has been featured in Billboards across Canada, on the Cover of a national parenting magazine, influenced advertisers like Playtex, Smash + Tess, Cheerios & even Britney Spears. 

Despite the many challenges life seems to throw at them, Tara lives with an attitude of thankfulness, refusing to sink despite the struggles & narrates her experiences from a momma’s heart.

Steph Crosiertest

Steph Crosier is a local multimedia journalist at The Kingston Whig-Standard. Working with her team, she covers breaking news, criminal justice, social justice, and a little bit of sports in between. She has been an Ontario Newspaper Award finalist three times for her local breaking news coverage and feature writing.

After a two-year adventure studying politics at the Royal Military College of Canada with the intention of becoming an intelligence officer, Steph attended Loyalist College’s Journalism: Online, Print and Broadcast program. She graduated in 2013 and remains a member of its Advisory Committee.

When Steph isn’t chasing her next story, she’s usually outside with her dog, Tucker (check out @ktowntucker on Instagram), nutrition coaching, planning her fall 2023 wedding or playing hockey.

Results History

2013 Results

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Jasdeep Saggar (Medical Biophysics) University of Toronto Hypoxia-activated pro-drugs: A novel approach for breast cancer treatment
2nd Place Abraham Heifets (Computing Science) University of Toronto How can we make better medicines? Computer tools for chemistry
3rd Place Chau-Minh Phan (Vision Science) University of Waterloo Treatment of fungal eye infections using contact lenses and nanoparticles
Participant's Choice Michael Taylor (Epidemiology & Biostatistics) Western University Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes: An Immigrant Story

2014 Results

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Dalva Nielsen Toronto Do dietary recommendations based on genetics change eating behaviour?
2nd Place Leslie Nash Brock Simplici-tea: Investigating tea as a dietary strategy for better bone health
3rd Place Muhammad Ali Naqvi Ryerson Milk. It does a body good!... but how?
4th Place Joseph Donohue Western Scale-up of a Circulating Fluidized-bed Bioreactor
5th Place Yasina Somani Windsor Getting a grip on high blood pressure with a novel treatment
Participant's Choice Cory Scurr Wilfrid Laurier Cold War Warrior? Diefenbaker and Canadian-Soviet Relations
Participant's Choice Muhammad Ali Naqvi Ryerson Milk. It does a body good!... but how?

2015 Results

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Meghan Yip Guelph Can we use the skin of our feet for better balance?
2nd Place Jenna Butler Western Computing a Cure for Cancer
3rd Place Stephen McCarthy Toronto Towards an Ebola Cure
4th Place Chenman (Cara) Yin Queen's Seeing the world at the tip of a laser beam
5th Place Teng Guo McMaster Double Rotor Motor: Making 1 + 1 > 2
Participant's Choice Lacy Bateman Nipissing Stories of Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada: Understanding the Case of Helen Betty Osborne

2016 Results

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Gah-Jone Won Waterloo The development of an antibody-drug conjugate to specifically target and soften the crystalline lens in vivo
2nd Place Michael Moore Ryerson Listening to the "Seeds" of Cancer
3rd Place Anastasia Shavrova Queen's Strategies on Winning the Game of Life
4th Place Justin Whitaker Ottawa Bacto-Glue for you (and better building bases too)
5th Place Carly Cameron Brock Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...
Participant's Choice Carly Cameron Brock Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

2017 Results

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Richard Kil Toronto Blood Testing with Baker's Yeast in Developing Regions
2nd Place Richard Edwards Wilfrid Laurier Chiral Quantum Dots: Lending a Hand in the Fight Against Cancer
3rd Place Ella Dubinsky Ryerson Singing for your Brain
4th Place Ololade Sanusi UOIT Next-Generation Blood Irradiation Systems
5th Place Shanthanu Krishna Kumar Guelph Enhancing Shelf Life of Fruit Using Hexanal
Participant's Choice Richard Kil & Ella Dubinsky Toronto & Guelph See above

2018 Results

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Matthew Berry McMaster Scientifically Quantifying the Craft of Acting
2nd Place Daniella Briotto Faustino Carleton Bend Passwords for People with Vision Impairment
3rd Place Tianqi Xie Western Are We Alone? Unlocking the Mystery of the Moon
4th Place Amélie Litalien RMC A Plant Worthy of its Salt
5th Place Gregory Lui Waterloo Photocatalysts: Using Today's Waste to Power the Future

2019 Results

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Alex Kjorven Ryerson The Gamification of Climate Change
2nd Place Yoah Sui Western Sofa, so good? Maybe not
3rd Place Amanda Brissenden Queen's Building Blocks for a Healthier Spine
4th Place David Patch RMC A Slippery Situation: Release of PFAS from Commercial Products
5th Place Haya Almutairi Waterloo Self-Healing Asphalt Pavement
Participant's Choice Yoah Sui Western Sofa, so good? Maybe not

Results 2020

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Amalia Gil (Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering) Toronto Identifying Distractions in Surgery with Eye-Tracking
2nd Place Jessica Allingham (Chemistry) Lakehead Brightening Up Brain Injuries
3rd Place Alice Santilli (Computing) Queen's Sniffing Out Breast Cancer
4th Place Sara Stricker (Plant Agriculture) Guelph Know Thy Enemy: Stemphylium Leaf Blight
5th Place Taryn Fournie (Civil & Environmental Engineering) Western What is the value of your poop?
Participant's Choice Taryn Fournie (Civil & Environmental Engineering) Western What is the value of your poop?

As this was still during the pandemic, only three Ontario Universities held a 3MT competition in 2021. So that Ontario was represented at the National 3MT showcase, The 3 Universities – Guelph, Ontario Tech and Queen’s put forward their top two presentations to be adjudicated by a committee of five individuals with expertise in research communication and public engagement including - including – Ursula Gobel, VP of SSHRC; Nicola Luksic, Senior Producer CBC; Evelyn Asiedu, PDFellow and producer of The Good and the Bad of Black Grad; Newsha Arezi, PhD Candidate and 2019 National 3MT Winner; and Rob Baker, guitarist for The Tragically Hip.

The final scores were compiled by staff at the CAGS national office.

The winner of the 2021 Ontario Regional 3MT Competition:

Claire Mindus, PhD Animal Bio Sciences, University of Guelph. “Don’t be Snappy, Be Happy! Preventing Feather Pecking in Chickens Using Probiotic Bacteria.”

Results 2022

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Emeline Means Miller Ontario Tech Identifying salivary cytokines associated with prolonged sitting
2nd Place Vanessa Ruscetta Toronto Metropolitan Gaining the upper hand on cancer therapeutics
3rd Place Atefeh Mohammadi Toronto Lung disease in premature babies: Are watermelons the answer?
Participant's Choice      

Results 2023

Place Name University Title of Presentation
1st Place Emily Majaesic University of Toronto Catch a Protein by Its Tail
2nd Place Sarah Rijkenberg Ontario Tech University Go Fish: Using plankton characteristics to monitor Ontario's fish populations
3rd Place Alexis Harvey Lakehead University Training the Socially-Responsible Healthcare Provider
Participant's Choice Jordan Till Trent University Paint Me a Picture: Longitudinal Symptom Stability in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Check out the full recordings of each presentation on the SGSPA YouTube channel!