Matthew NikitczukMatthew Nikitczuk, Brock’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) champion, will compete at provincial finals being held April 23 at Western University in London.The Earth Sciences master’s student will compete against 19 other graduate students from universities across Ontario. The competition will begin at 3 p.m. and will be streamed live online.Judging the Ontario finals are Rob Baker, guitarist for the Tragically Hip; Paul Jenkins, former senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada; Eric Lindros, retired NHL player; Christine Magee, co-founder and chair of Sleep Country Canada; and Adrian Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Cognition and Neuroimaging at Western University.In addition to the chance to win cash prizes, the top five participants’ videotaped presentations will go on to be part of Canada’s 3MT competition. National winners will be announced in June.Nikitczuk advanced to the provincial stage after placing first amongst five finalists at Brock’s 3MT competition., held recently as part of the Mapping New Knowledges Graduate Students Research Conference.His presentation focuses on his research into a micro-fossil that eats volcanic glass. The implications of the study shed new light onto early life on Earth, and possible life elsewhere.Learn more about Nikitczuk’s researchNikitczuk, who won $500 for taking first place at Brock, said the last public-speaking contest he entered was in elementary school.The 3MT competition requires students to talk about their research in a way that informs and captivates people outside of their disciplines. The challenge is that this must be completed in three minutes or less, while using only one PowerPoint slide.The competition provides graduate students with an opportunity to refine skills that can be transferred after graduation to diverse career paths. It also enables students to showcase their research to a wider audience, across disciplines within the university and to the broader public.Last year, Brock’s Leslie Nash placed second at the 2014 Ontario 3MT finals and was one of 11 graduate students to compete in the virtual national contest.