Meet 3MT Competitor Anna Mikhailitchenko

Anna Mikhailitchenko

In her search for a fresh way to think about whale research, graduate student Anna Mikhailitchenko currently doing a MSc in Biological Sciences, made a decision to participate in this year’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition.

Her current research involves studying the patterns of humpback whale calls/acoustics across multiple time scales in their feeding grounds off the coast of Newfoundland. In entering the contest, she wanted to remind herself while explaining to others where her research fits in the broader scope of biological sciences, science as a whole and in humanity. The Toronto native is currently weighing her options when it comes to a career post-graduation. She would like to pursue a career that lets her interact and invest in others.

Why did you choose to compete in the 3MT Competition?

I thought it would be a great opportunity to share my work with people outside of my department, and a challenge to be able to concisely explain my research to people and help them understand why it is important to study something so ‘random’, as I’ve been told by many people.

What is the value of the 3MT Competition?  

I think its a great opportunity for audiences to understand what non-medical sciences graduate students do, and that their work is equally important. There’s so much going on around the world – so much degradation and extinction and abuse without really caring about the implications of our actions. I just want to get people thinking outside of humanity and seeing that natural sciences work is also important and there are many steps needed to eventually answer some big questions.

It has also opened my eyes to the wide range of “really cool” work being done by  fellow grad students in different areas outside of my department. Listening to other presentations has reignited my enthusiasm for my own research.

What advice do you have for others?

Take opportunities to share your work with others, ask for help when necessary and try to stay focused on why you got involved with a project in the first place.

You can cheer on Anna Mikhailitchenko who competes in the final (Heat 1), on Wednesday June 3, 2020.

Watch the 3MT Competition Final – Live Online
June 3, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
This event will available via live-stream, the link will be available here the day of the event.

The winner of the 3MT competition, advances to compete at the Western Regional Three Minute Thesis competition, date TBD.


Written by Jo Davies

May 28, 2020