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Southern Cross early career researchers are 'pitching it clever'


Lee Adendorff
5 February 2020

Do trees emit a potent greenhouse gas? Why are mangroves our muddy climate warriors? Can canola solve the world’s future food shortage? And more to the point – how do you communicate these complex research questions in just two minutes?

This was the challenge for Southern Cross University early career researchers Luke Jeffrey, Gloria Reithmaier and Mahmudur Rahman, who participated in an annual communication challenge competition run by peak body Universities Australia.

Pitch it Clever challenges early career researchers to communicate their research and why it matters to non-specialist audiences via a one-to-two minute video. A selection of university Vice Chancellors judge the shortlisted videos which are presented at Universities Australia’s annual higher education conference in late February.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Mary Spongberg said that pitching research is a critical skill for researchers in the 21st century. “Pitching your research is important to attract funding, to engage the community and to build the reputation of the University. This is a really excellent program, and it highlights some of the amazing research being undertaken by our early career researchers. We need paradigm-shifting research on climate and not only are these young researchers producing this research, they are also communicating from our backyard to the world,” she said.

Pitch it Clever 2020 - vote in the People's Choice Award

You can nominate your favourite pitch by voting in the People’s Choice Award on the Thinkable platform – just follow the links below to support our early career researchers.

Dr Luke Jeffrey from SCU GeoScience pitched his project looking at flammable methane (a potent greenhouse gas) emitted by trees. Treethane: A New Frontier in the Global Carbon Cycle?

PhD candidate Gloria Reithmaier pitched her research into mangroves and their capacity to store and cycle carbon. Mangroves - our muddy climate warriors

PhD candidate Mahmudur Rahman pitched his research into Australia’s largest oil seed crop and how canola meal might be improved as a source of protein for humans. Improvement of Canola meal for human consumption