Rovier Verdi wins Coventry University 2021 'Three Minute Thesis' Competition

Rovier Verdi

Pictured: Rovier Verdi


Wednesday 27 January 2021

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Rovier Verdi, a second year PhD candidate in the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, has won the Coventry University ‘Three Minute Thesis’ (3MT®) competition 2021.

The 3MT® competition invites postgraduate researchers (PGRs) to give a compelling spoken presentation of their PhD topics and the significance of their research in just three minutes. The competition takes place annually as part of the Coventry University Research Hootenanny, organised by the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development.

Out of 10 finalists at Coventry University, Rovier was chosen by a select panel of judges as the overall winner. Judges considered the comprehension and content of the presentations, as well as engagement and communication.

Rovier shared his research on sustainable rice production for family farmers as part of his quick-fire presentation.

Entitled ‘Solving the challenges of sustainable rice production for family farmers in Brazil and worldwide’, his presentation introduced some of the negative impacts of current food production systems in light of climate change and loss of biodiversity.

Rovier also reflected on his own family’s experience of rice farming and the challenges faced by farmers across the globe, given the growing use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. His research aims to enable new environmentally friendly methods for rice production and has brought together stakeholders from Brazil, Europe and the UK to explore new avenues for rice farming, in an attempt to improve the livelihoods of farmers worldwide.

Rovier will be representing Coventry University at the 3MT national final alongside winners from other participating universities across the UK.

I wish to inspire the rural youth to achieve a better quality of life as farmers, to be able to remain on the farms they grew up on, producing healthy food and protecting the environment.

Rovier Verdi, Coventry University 3MT winner

In previous years, our 3MT® participants have given their presentations in-person to an audience of peers and researchers. Under the national COVID-19 restrictions, the participants showed incredible adaptability by recording themselves presenting alongside one single image that best represented their research topic. They were restricted to doing their presentation in one take, with no editing, in order to emulate the normal competition circumstances.

Dr Heather Sears, Head of Researcher Capability and Development

Rice is the staple food for half of the world's population and the second most cultivated cereal in the world. However, it is grown mainly under a flooded condition with heavy applications of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It is estimated that pesticides cause 750,000 chronic illnesses, resulting in 220,000 annual deaths. The research aims to identify, explore, improve, and share innovative practices for sustainable rice production. In Brazil, we carried out research trials in a family farm using an environmentally friendly homeopathic method for healing and protecting plants, whilst also testing and introducing to Brazil a novel agro-ecological methodology for increasing the productivity of rice called the System of Rice Intensification. At Coventry University, I assessed the effects of homeopathy on rice seedlings in laboratory trials. Also whilst here in Coventry, I have experimented with a researcher-farmer participatory approach that involves stakeholders from Brazil, UK and Europe. The results will be useful to make less uncertain the challenges of the transition toward sustainable agriculture.

Stay tuned to view Rovier's presentation video.

Find out more about PhD Opportunities at Coventry University.

Additional notes

The 3MT® concept was initially developed by the University of Queensland, and has evolved into a number of national competitions in countries across the globe. Find out more.

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