‘Bite-sized insight’ to Ireland’s Deep Sea Pharmacy wins Threesis 2019

Pictured at the Threesis Grand Finale are (l-r): Ríona Walsh who finished in second place; Sam Afoullouss, the winner of Threesis 2019 and winner of the audience prize; and Tianming Yao who secured third place. Photo: Aengus McMahon.
Nov 29 2019 Posted: 10:30 GMT

NUI Galway has announced the winners of its Threesis 2019 competition which took place in the O’Donoghue Theatre on campus recently. The fast-paced event featured three-minute talks by twelve NUI Galway researchers who shared the story of their research using just three presentation slides, in front of three judges and a voting audience of over 100 people.

The winner of Threesis 2019 as well as securing the Audience Winner prize was Sam Afoullouss with his bite-sized talk ‘Ireland’s Deep Sea Pharmacy’.

Sam is a PhD candidate in the School of Chemistry and School of Natural Science, working together with both the Ryan Institute and Marine Institute. Sam’s research focuses on discovering new medicines derived from marine organisms. In particular, he studies sponges and corals from the Irish Deep-Sea, located off the west coast of Ireland, at a depth of 2 km. His research is funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

In second place was Ríona Walsh, with her talk ‘Into the Woods: Can Woodland Creatures Protect us from Lyme Disease?’ Ríona is a PhD candidate in the School of Natural Sciences. Her research is transdisciplinary research on Lyme disease in Ireland, investigating the ecology, epidemiology, and awareness of this disease. Her work is funded by the School of Natural Sciences scholarship.

Securing third place from the judges was Tianming Yao with his talk ‘Shaking off Romantic Shackles’.

Tianming is PhD student in the School of Political Science and Sociology. His research topic is the media construction of sexuality. His research investigates how our bodies and emotions have been regulated and controlled by social structure, and explores the underlying power transition behind the changing media construction of sexuality.

Not only was there the challenge of time as part of Threesis, but the participants were tasked with using clear and jargon-free language. The judges in the final were: journalist Lorna Siggins; Dr Sylvia Maretto, Research Support Officer, NUI Galway; and John Crumlish CEO, Galway International Arts Festival. Professor Andrew Shearer from NUI Galway’s School of Physics acted as MC for the evening.

Professor Lokesh Joshi, NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Research, commented: “Threesis brings some of our fantastic people carrying out incredible research across all disciplines on a journey which empowers them to communicate the story of their research clearly and concisely. The grand finale was a really interesting event, full of fascinating, bite-sized insights into incredible research. Finally, I would like to congratulate Sam, who was a very worthy winner tonight in final full of excellent speakers.”

The Threesis competition was initiated at NUI Galway in 2012. It is open to all research students and postdoctoral researchers at NUI Galway. Finalists included undergraduate students and PhD candidates from across all Colleges on campus.

Videos of the three winning presentations will be available at: www.nuigalway.ie/threesis

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