Meet the Presenters

photo of Kaitlyn KerridgeKaitlyn Kerridge

Brock University

Degree: Master of Arts
Graduate Program: Applied Health Sciences
Supervisor(s): Dr. Paula Gardner

  •   Mindfully Making Our Way in the World

Kaitlyn is a passionate advocate for positive mental health promotion among post-secondary students. She understands firsthand the importance of finding balance in stressful situations which seem to happen daily while being a student. For the past 4 years, she has been a part of a program of research entitled: ‘The Mindfulness Experiment’ which examines the impact of an in-class meditation for university students. Her thesis research is a qualitative narrative study which explores the voices of university students who have already adapted mindfulness practices, and examines how these practices impact their mental health. Kaitlyn facilitates workshops on campus to students, staff, and faculty on how to foster mindfulness in their lives and organizations. Kaitlyn is dedicated to thinking, learning, and living mindfully in all aspects of her life.


photo of Daniella Briotto FaustinoDaniella Briotto Faustino

Carleton University

Degree: Master of Applied Science
Graduate Program: Human–Computer Interaction
Supervisor(s): Dr. Audrey Girouard

  •   Bend Passwords for People with Vision Impairment

Daniella Briotto Faustino has a postgraduate diploma in Information Technology (IT) Management and worked implementing the business software SAP, as an IT Consultant and Project Manager. After witnessing how frustrating non–user–friendly software is, she decided to strive for the development of solutions both able to meet users’ needs and with good usability. Daniella got particularly interested in the area of accessibility for people with vision impairment after reading previous research from Dr. Audrey Girouard, her current supervisor, just before applying to study at Carleton University. In 2016, Daniella left Brazil with her husband to pursue her Masters in Human–Computer Interaction in Canada. She is now working on her thesis project about accessible password input methods for people who are blind or have low vision. In her spare time, Daniella tries to learn how to skate and to enjoy Canada’s cold weather.


photo of jenny liuJenny Liu

University of Guelph

Degree: Master of Science
Graduate Program: Environmental Sciences
Supervisor(s): Dr. Rebecca Hallett

  •   Understanding an Invasive Alien

Jenny completed her undergraduate degree in Forestry at the University of British Columbia, and is now in the final year of her Master of Science in Insect Ecology. She hopes to make a career in integrated pest management, and would one day like to take her knowledge overseas and apply it to sustainable development goals. She likes to peruse insects, trees, and Youtube videos of famous ballerinas in her spare time.


photo of Robert JacksonRobert Jackson

Lakehead University

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Biotechnology (Medical)
Supervisor(s): Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe

  •   Pathogen—Host Analyses and Biotechnologies for HPV

Robert is a doctoral candidate from Northwestern Ontario and is currently enrolled in Lakehead University's Biotechnology PhD Program. Within Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe's research lab, at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, Robert studies how small changes in the genetic code of pathogens, such as human papillomaviruses (HPVs), can increase the risk for developing cancer. His research seeks to understand the molecular basis for this increased cancer risk and incorporates a variety of novel biotechnologies, including lab-grown human skin, next-generation sequencing analysis, and bioinformatics software development.


photo of Jasmine VeitchJasmine Veitch

Laurentian University

Degree: Master of Science
Graduate Program: Biology
Supervisor(s): Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde

  •   Effect of Parasites on Maternal Care in Small Mammals

Jasmine is a first-year biology master’s student at Laurentian University, and her research focuses on the effects of parasites on small mammal hosts in Algonquin Park. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa in the Biology Honours program with a specialization in Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour. While she has always held a strong enthusiasm for biology and the natural world, she had the opportunity to further this passion while taking part in an honours thesis project examining activity patterns of white-footed mice. Now she is investigating impacts of parasites on parental investment in deer mice, specifically focusing on changes in maternal behaviour, provisioning and responsivity. Her study will provide a better understanding of host-parasite systems and how parasites influence reproduction. Few studies have fully examined the impacts of parasites, especially on mammalian hosts, and her findings will address this knowledge gap.


photo of Matthew BerryMatthew Berry

McMaster University

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour
Supervisor(s): Dr. Steven Brown

  •   Scientifically Quantifying the Craft of Acting

Matthew Berry is a second year PhD student in the NeuroArts lab in the department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University. His research interests include the psychology and cognitive neuroscience of drama/theatre (gesture), literature (narrative and storytelling), creativity, humour, and improvisation. He is attempting to develop a new field devoted to analyzing the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the production, perception, and synthesis of these areas. To date, he is the first to experimentally code and predict character production in actors. Beyond the lab he is a writer, improvist, photographer, and fully licensed scuba diver. For more information, please feel free to visit


photo of An NguyenAn Nguyen

Nipissing University

Degree: Master of Arts
Graduate Program: History
Supervisor(s): Dr. Katrina Srigley and Dr. Nathan Kozuskanich

  •   What Do You Know About the Vietnam War?

In U.S. history courses, the Vietnam War is taught from an American perspective. The last Americans left the country in 1975, but for millions of Vietnamese people, the story was just beginning. Nguyễn Quốc Hưng was born in Saigon in the midst of the war. He fled Vietnam at the age of twenty–five, a "boat person" in one of the largest refugee crises in the world. He eventually resettled in Toronto and had three more children, including this presenter, who wants to prove to you that stories like this are vital to our understanding of the Vietnam War.


photo of Afrooz SamaeiAfrooz Samaei

OCAD University

Degree: Master of Design
Graduate Program: Digital Futures
Supervisor(s): Emma Westecott

  •   Parabolas and the Town: Learning Abstract Symbolic Mathematics through Digital Games

Afrooz holds a B.Sc. degree in Geomatics Engineering and has professional experience in data and visual analytics and tutoring mathematics. Her passion for empowering younger generations with STEM skills motivated her to develop a series of math education video games for her master’s thesis, which focuses on learning abstract symbolic mathematics through video games.

Parabolas and the Town is a math educational video game that targets high school students. The goal is to help players better understand an abstract mathematical concept by connecting it to a concrete situation. The problems embedded in the game illustrate how certain abstract concepts gain meaning within a game world and provide a scenario where students are required to dig into their knowledge of algebra and put it into practice in order to be able to solve the game’s challenges.


photo of Eryn FrawleyEryn Frawley

University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Degree: Master of Science
Graduate Program: Modelling and Computational Science
Supervisor(s): Dr. Lennaert van Veen & Dr. Luciano Buono

  •   Safety in Numbers: Animal Aggregation

Although she was born and raised in the Durham Region, Eryn’s heart lies in Saint John, New Brunswick, where she spends each summer.

Eryn completed her undergraduate degree in Applied and Industrial Mathematics at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). While a passion of Eryn’s is studying animal groups, her favourite animal to spend time with is her labradoodle puppy, Huck, a “lap dog” who has grown to outweigh his owner.

Eryn is elated to be competing in the Three Minute Thesis competition. The last time she competed at a provincial level there were a lot more jump shots and a lot less math.


photo of Jean Michel GuayJean-Michel Guay

University of Ottawa

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Physics
Supervisor(s): Dr. Arnaud Weck et Dr. Pierre Berini

  •   Painting Metals Without Paint

Jean-Michel Guay is currently a PhD candidate in Physics and member of the FROG group and the Centre for Research in Photonics at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Arnaud Weck and co-direction of Dr. Pierre Berini. He invented a laser technique for directly coloring metals which was published in Nature and earned him 14 prizes internationally. His work is currently being applied to the fabrication of a new collectible coin at the Royal Canadian Mint set to be released this year.


photo of Priyanka GognaPriyanka Gogna

Queen's University

Degree: Master of Science
Graduate Program: Epidemiology, Department of Public Health Sciences
Supervisor(s): Dr. Will King

  •   When Prevention Could be the Cure

Priyanka is a 2nd year MSc student in epidemiology. She is from Toronto, Ontario, and completed a BA degree at McMaster University before beginning her studies at Queen's. She is passionate about scientific research, as well as knowledge translation and making research accessible to the public. She is participating in the 3MT because she loves the challenge of simplifying her thesis and making it accessible to other students at Queen's University, and to get them excited about epidemiology!


photo of Amélie LitalienAmélie Litalien

Royal Military College of Canada

Degree: Master of Science
Graduate Program: Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Supervisor(s): Dr. Barb Zeeb (RMC) co-supervised by Dr. Allison Rutter (Queen's)

  • A Plant Worthy of its Salt

Amélie Litalien graduated from McMaster University in 2017 with an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Science. She began a Master’s Degree in Chemistry at RMC in September 2017. She is a recipient of the University Senate award from McMaster University and the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship. She is an avid naturalist and enjoys hiking and rock-climbing. Today she will be presenting her thesis work on the environmental remediation of salt impacted soils.


photo of Lama Al FaseehLama Al Faseeh

Ryerson University

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Civil Engineering
Supervisor(s): Dr. Bilal Farooq

  •   The Real Future: Mixed Traffic of Human-Driven Vehicles (HDVs) and Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)

Lama Al Faseeh is a second-year, Civil Engineering PhD candidate at Ryerson University. She doesn't believe in luck but believes in determination. Lama feels that now is the time to take advantage of the profound development in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). She is researching mixed traffic of human-driven vehicles (HDVs) and autonomous vehicles (AVs), under the umbrella of smart cities that require further research for efficient and sustainable deployment. She is working under the supervision of Dr. Bilal Farooq. In her research, Lama will develop mathematical models and simulations that will help mimic reality in order to ensure the coexistence of intelligent vehicles technology in the least disruptive and most beneficial way. Lama loves horseback riding, teaching, and she is an avid volunteer with non-profit organizations.


photo of Megan McGeeMeghan McGee

University of Toronto

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
Supervisor(s): Dr. Deborah O’Connor (primary) and Dr. Jill Hamilton (secondary)

  •   Using Donor Breastmilk to Fight Obesity

Meghan McGee is a PhD candidate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Deborah O’Connor. Meghan is working on improving the health outcomes of children who were born preterm. She aims to understand the risk factors for childhood overweight and obesity and is investigating the role of donor breastmilk as a preventative measure in early life. Meghan completed her Bachelor’s degree at McGill University and her Master’s degree at the University of Ottawa. In addition to her PhD, Meghan is the founder of the epidemiological consulting firm, EpiConsult.


photo of Sumiko PolaccoSumiko Polacco

Trent University

Degree: Master of Science
Graduate Program: Environmental and Life Sciences
Supervisor(s): Dr. Paul Wilson

  •   Blood–in–the–Dark: Designing a Forensic Blood Substitute—That Glows!

Sumiko Polacco is a M.Sc. candidate in the Environmental and Life Sciences program at Trent University. Under the supervision of Dr. Paul Wilson and Dr. Theresa Stotesbury, along with Prof. Mike Illes, her research is developing a luminol-reactive Forensic Blood Substitute (FBS). Designing fluids which mimic the forensically relevant properties blood is a recognized need in the forensic community. Her work has practical applications in forensic bloodstain pattern analysis as educators and crime scene investigators can use this FBS as a safe and ethical alternative to the human or animal blood sources currently used in the field. Sumiko is also a graduate of Trent’s B.Sc. (Hons) in Forensic Science program. She chose to pursue a career in forensics because she was captivated by the idea that her love for science could be applied to a field so diverse and directly associated with severing and protecting our communities.


photo of Gregory LuiGregory Lui

University of Waterloo

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Chemical Engineering
Supervisor(s): Aiping Yu, Michael Fowler

  •   Photocatalysts: Using Today’s Waste to Power the Future
Gregory Lui is a PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on how light-activated catalysts (photocatalysts) can be used to both clean waste water and generate electricity using only natural sunlight. His other research interests include using nanomaterials to create more efficient batteries, and designing solar-chargeable energy storage devices. Greg hopes that his research will lead to more innovative ways of using existing waste streams for positive energy and environmental outcomes. Outside of research, Greg enjoys singing and jamming with friends, rock climbing, and making people laugh.


photo of Tianqi XieTianqi Xie

Western University

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Geophysics
Supervisor(s): Dr. Sean R. Shieh and Dr. Gordon R. Osinski

  •   Are We Alone? Unlocking the Mystery of the Moon

Tianqi Xie is a fourth-year PhD candidate at Western University in the Department of Earth Sciences. She shoots lasers at rocks from the Earth and the moon. The laser beam interacts with the molecules and returns a unique signal like a fingerprint. Thus, the composition of the rocks (including organics and inorganics) can be determined without destroying the samples—this is important given that her moon rocks are from the Apollo missions. She hopes to continue shooting lasers at other planets in the future as we continue to explore the solar system and beyond. Tianqi originally comes from Northeast China. Before coming to Canada in 2014, she received her bachelor’s degree in gemology and master’s in mineralogy from China University of Geosciences in Beijing. She is a cat person, loves theatre, good food, and enjoys reading.


photo of Gehan SenthinathanGehan Senthinathan

Wilfrid Laurier University

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Psychology
Supervisor(s): Dr. Rudy Eikelboom

  •   The Sweet Science of Addiction

Gehan Senthinathan received his honours BSc in Psychology from the University of Toronto. He then completed his MSc in Behavioural Neuroscience at Wilfrid Laurier University where he is currently a PhD candidate in the same discipline. He is interested in disorders of consumption that involve drug and alcohol intake, and other excessive behaviours that do not involve drugs, like over–eating, or pathological gambling. He studies the development and maintenance of excessive behaviours and searches for the related neural substrates. Gehan is also passionate about teaching and inspiring the next generation of scientists. When he’s not in the lab or the office, he enjoys playing sports and writing-recording hip–hop.


photo of Liza DiCeccoLiza DiCecco

University of Windsor

Degree: Master of Applied Science
Graduate Program: Engineering Materials
Supervisor(s): Dr. Afsaneh Edrisy

  •   Move Over Plastic, We're 3D Printing Titanium

Liza is a first year Master of Applied Science candidate in Engineering Materials at the University of Windsor, having an Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Materials from this same institution. Her research focuses on material characterization of titanium alloys produced through specific additive manufacturing processes, such as plasma fabrication. She has been closely engaged in research throughout her academic career as a past member of the University of Windsor’s unique Outstanding Scholar’s undergraduate program. From this program, she became involved in additive manufacturing research, publishing and presenting two conference papers through ASME’s 2015 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE), as well as IFAC’s 2016 Intelligent Maintenance Systems (IMS) conference. Through these research endeavours, she noted a fundamental need for research in material characterization for new emerging additive manufacturing processes, influencing her decision to pursue her masters in Engineering Materials.


photo of Annalise D'SouzaAnnalise D'Souza

York University

Degree: PhD
Graduate Program: Psychology
Supervisor(s): Dr. Melody Wiseheart

  •    Using Web-Based Tools to Measure Brain Health Across the Lifespan

Annalise is a doctoral candidate at York University. She is enrolled in the Psychology Developmental Science program, and in graduate diplomas specializing in Neuroscience and Quantitative Psychology. She studies executive functions, which are higher-order mental abilities that produce intelligent behaviour. Through the Cognitive Flexibility Lab, her research focuses on three main areas—what executive functions are (including underlying brain mechanisms), how they develop and decline with age, and the potential of using web-based tools to measure these core mental abilities. Her 3MT talk introduces a new online measure developed using an unprecedentedly large group of over 20,000 individuals. Annalise’s research techniques involve using mathematical models to explore changes in mental abilities across the lifespan and coping strategies with aging. She also conducts experiments on real-world activities (such as music, dance, visual arts, yoga, and bilingualism) that may improve mental performance.