After holding heats over the last few weeks, eight Lincoln University PhD and masters students participated in the Lincoln University Thr3sis grand final on Wednesday 30 May, with Natalia Guazzone taking out the final and ‘people’s choice’ award for her presentation on Trichoderma.
In its second year, Thr3sis is a competition for postgraduate students whereby students are challenged to answer the question ‘what are you researching?’ in a presentation of no more than three minutes. As well as winning $1,000 Natalia will represent Lincoln University at the Australasian Three Minutes Thesis Competition being held in Brisbane in October 2012.
Natalia is a PhD student with the Bio-Protection Research Centre and she is studying the variability in Trichoderma biocontrol systems. Trichoderma is a beneficial fungi that can be used to control various diseases, in turn reducing the use of pesticides.
In a very entertaining presentation entitled ‘Go green, go Trichoderma’ Natalia informed the crowd about factors influencing Trichoderma root colonisation – requiring the right soil pH, humidity and nitrogen content.
Natalia has a Masters in Plant Biochemistry obtained from the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg France. After completing her Masters she worked as a technician for classical biological control projects at Cabi-Europe in Switzerland. In 2009 Natalia started her PhD at Lincoln University and once completed she wants to work as an integrated pest-management consultant.