Two years ago I blogged about my experience of attending the university-wide final of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final. You can check out that post here. Well I was once again privileged to attend UQ 3MT Final, held at the stunning heritage building, Customs House. You can read about Customs House here

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) and involves postgraduate research students presenting their research in 3 short minutes in a language that everyone can understand.
It is a fantastic example of science communication – taking a complex scientific topic and transforming it into an engaging, accessible and lay audience appropriate story. Students from the eight faculties and institutes vied to win. 

Anna-Liisa Sutt from the Faculty of Medicine won the Final and also won the People’s Choice, as voted by the audience. You can read about Anna-Liisa’s win and research here.

This year I had an amazing professional science communication opportunity. I was asked to tweet on behalf of UQ Health! I live tweeted throughout the Final. I received some good feedback from our marketing and communications team and hope I’ll have a few more opportunities in the months and years to come. You can check at UQ Health on Twitter here and on Facebook here

This afternoon I spotted some fantastic specimens of Coprinellus disseminatus commonly known as Fairy Ink Caps in a flower bed, in a location that I hadn’t seen them in before. I have observed this fungi before and have blogged about it as well here. In 2014 in a violent storm two trees in the flower bed came down and I’m assuming the fungi is growing in the remnants of the tree stumps.

These fascinating and delicate fungi got me blogging again!

It’s been a while since I have blogged. Life – overseas trip, time spent with our dog Harry, major life changes, and side projects have got in the way. I finally bit the Twitter bullet and took to active tweeting at @SapphicSci and my other alter egos @LipstickLabCoat and @GildaCorday. My side project, Ferocious Cabaret, a local community group in Brisbane, Australia, has gone through a relaunch and we will be putting on bigger and better shows for up and coming performers (of burlesque, cabaret, drag, stand-up, acoustic music and song) in 2017. Check out our new website here.

I’d been telling myself for a while to get back to blogging. And low and behold this afternoon while buying an afternoon chocolate snack I spotted some fungi – stunning cream and grey specimens of Coprinellus disseminatus commonly known as Fairy Ink Caps. Check out my Friday Fungi Spotting post for photos of these delicate fungi.

But meanwhile I couldn’t help but share a photo of our dog Harry.

Image – copyright Sapphicscientist

And a little plug for Ferocious Cabaret

While walking back to my office from  training session, I noticed some Stinkhorn fungi in a flower bed. In fact there were multiple specimens of two different species of Stinkhorn fungi located in close proximity to each other (see fourth photo) –

  • Asteroe rubra – a red star shaped Stinkhorn fungus
  •  Phallus rubicundus – a red phallic shaped Stinkhorn fungus


Red Stinkhorn fungi (Phallus rubicundus) spotted on a flower bed. I even spotted some flys attracted by the pungent foul smelling or dour omitted by the fungus specimens.    



Over the weekend of 12th and 13th March I volunteered and checked out the World Science Festival Brisbane held in the cultural precinct at Southbank, Brsbane, Australia. Wow! An awesome experience!

My girl and I headed in to Southbank (the festival’s main location and home to Brisbane’s cultural precinct comprising museums, art galleries, the state library and performing arts centre) on the Saturday. As I was on my shift, my girl checked out Street Science (science shows, displays and demonstrations in the cultural forecourt near the Brisbane River). 

My shift was at QAGoMA (the Queensland Art Gallery-Gallery of Modern Art) as part of the Art Conservation Apprentice Program – a behind the scenes and practical look at preservation and conservation of artworks. Participants put broken ceramics back together and learnt about mourning and preserving photographic works (testing the pH of mounting boards, microscopic examination to find out how the photograph was printed). 

Fresh from my shift I met up with my girl for lunch Greek street food. Then it was on to see Dear Albert, a play written by Alan Alda based on Albert Einstein’s personal letters. He had a tumultuous love life, and was a passionate scientist and comedian. Fascinating! 

Next it was more Street Science – we saw Australian tarantulas and golden orb spiders being gently placed on willing kids’ hands – such fascination and lack of fear! Kids sifting through piles of rock and bones experiencing palaeontology, 3D bioprinting, robotics, reef conservation and the science Olympiads. 

Then to round out the day we saw Loggerhead turtles hatching from their eggs and earlier hatchlings swimming in tanks. Amazing! The hatchlings were to be released off the coast of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast where it was hoped they would catch the current and evade predators. 

On Sunday my shift was in the Whale Mall at the Queensland Museum. It was a kids activity – the Lego Tower Challenge – build a tower strong enough to hold a pile of text books. The kids has so much fun. So lovely to see kids of all ages, genders and background getting stuck into building. Fun but exhausting! After my shift I wandered around Street Science then caught up with my parents for a late lunch. 

What a day! What an experience! Privileged to have been involved. Can’t wait for next year. And no I didn’t get to meet or see Alan Alda. Maybe next year?