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7 June 2017

Power of the Pitch: Guelph Grad Students Aces Canada’s 3Minute Thesis


Shanthanu Krishna Kumar
Tomasz Adamaski Photography

Ottawa - An animated explanation of a plant-derived compound that extends the shelf life of fruit and could impact food supply in developing countries has won Canada’s 3Minute Thesis competition.

Shanthanu Krishna Kumar, a plant agriculture Master’s student from the University of Guelph, won both first place and the People’s Choice Award for his presentation. It is the first time the national competition has awarded both the top prizes to one person.

“He was able to connect with his audience about why they should care and how his research will affect the lives of farmers and consumers around the world,” said Tragically Hip’s Rob Baker, who has judged the national competition for the past two years. “Experiencing his enthusiasm encouraged the audience to follow him through the science.”

Second place was awarded to University of Toronto’s Richard Kil, a PhD candidate in Chemistry. He has been researching a process that uses baker’s yeast to create an effective and economical blood test for disease in the developing world.

“Every day, graduate students in Canada work to improve the lives of individuals and communities locally and globally,” says CAGS President Brenda Brouwer, who is also dean of graduate studies at Queen’s University. “This competition is much more than a contest. It is a way to share that work with the rest of us so that Canada understands what an important resource we have.”

And for francophone students who want to compete, we encourage you to contact our sister organization ACFAS for information about ma-these-en-180-secondes. CAGS collaborates on this event each year as it profiles the best in graduate research and communication.