Meet our 2021-22 3MT Finalists: Holly Loper

October 26, 2021 - by Sarah Igram

Holly Loper is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in microbiology. You can watch her Three Minute Thesis (3MT) presentation, "Novel Field Study to Measure Environmental Nitrogen Losses from Maize," Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.


Photo of Holly Loper

Holly Loper

Q: What brought you to Iowa State?

A: The opportunity to study microbes involved in agriculture to improve environmental sustainability.


Q: Describe your research in three sentences or less.

A: My research employs a novel field design to better quantify environmental nitrogen losses from corn. The design uses massive fully enclosed intact blocks of soil to enable the complete collection of excess water drained from the block. With this, nitrogen in drainage will no longer escape our measurements of environmental nitrogen losses allowing me to better understand how fertilizer application rate affects key environmental nitrogen losses.


Q: What do you hope to gain from Three Minute Thesis?

A: I hope to have the opportunity and practice communicating my exciting research to a broader audience.


Q: Share a fun fact about yourself.

A: I love horror movies!


Founded at the University of Queensland, Three Minute Thesis (3MT) challenges graduate students to present their research to a non-specialist audience in three minutes or less. Iowa State's eight finalists will compete in our final competition on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. You can watch a livestream of the event on the Graduate College's Facebook page.

Tags: three minute thesis, microbiology, academic awards