Doctoral students pack years of research into three minutes

11 faces and 3MT logoFrom creating voice-responsive materials, to enabling regrowth of lost fingers and limbs, to reducing stress on caregivers of autistic children, to unearthing cultural history in Puget Sound, a wide range of high-impact research topics were expeditiously explained in the recent CAS Three Minute Thesis contest.

Eleven Pullman-based doctoral students competed for valuable fellowship prizes by presenting their years of dissertation work in three minutes or less, using just one visual slide, and in language anyone could understand.

Contestants from seven CAS academic areas described research projects with vast potential for expanding human understanding, advancing the frontiers of science, and improving quality of life across Washington and worldwide.

Emily Le FrancePsychologist Emily LaFrance won first place honors for succinctly presenting her investigation of the mechanisms underlying enhanced creativity reported by cannabis users. She received a $1,000 fellowship for the coming academic year and will compete in the University-wide competition on March 27.

Robyn ReeveBiologist Robyn Reeve received the runner-up award and a $500 fellowship for concisely describing her study of the way Xenopus frogs regenerate injured body parts, which could serve as a model for possible regenerative function in other vertebrates, including humans.

Travis Volz“People’s Choice” honors and a $500 fellowship went to physicist Travis Volz for his compact review of his work examining the formation of diamonds to learn what meteorites are made of.

Read all of the competitors’ compelling research abstracts and find out more at


Top image: Participants in the 2019 CAS 3MT qualifier.