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Erin Spencer
Erin Spencer

Erin Spencer, a master’s degree student in the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program, has won the 2018 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Spencer, who received a $1,000 award, will compete in the regional competition in February 2019.

During the late-October campus competition, 10 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate students presented their research to judges and an audience – with a three-minute time limit for each finalist. Master’s and doctoral students enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill, from any discipline administered by The Graduate School, were eligible to participate in the competition.

“As an audience, it is truly inspiring to learn about the depth and range of graduate students’ innovative research at Carolina,” said Brian Rybarczyk, assistant dean for academic and professional development at The Graduate School. “The 3MT is an ideal venue for students from all disciplines to develop solid communication skills.”

Spencer spoke on “Fishy Business: Red Snapper Mislabeling in the Southeastern United States.”

Other 3MT honorees were:

  • Jessica Barrick, a doctoral student in physics and astronomy, who received second-place honors and a $600 award. She spoke on “Understanding Sea Turtle Navigation with Laser-Based Imaging.”
  • William Green, a doctoral student in nutrition, who received People’s Choice honors and a $400 award. Audience member votes determine this award. He spoke on “Obesity Weighs Down the Immune Response to Influenza.”

The University of Queensland held the first 3MT, in 2008. The competition now takes place in more than 600 universities in 65 countries around the world.

Videos by Melanie Busbee

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