Meet our 2022-23 3MT finalists: Holly Loper

November 07, 2022 - by Sarah Igram

Holly Loper is a fifth-year Ph.D. student majoring in Microbiology, and this is her second consecutive year participating in Iowa State's Three Minute Thesis final competition. Watch Holly's presentation, "Large Predictions and Small Changes in Fertilizer Use," this Thursday, and learn more about her work before the competition.

Holly Loper

Holly Loper


Q: What brought you to Iowa State?

A: The unique opportunity to apply microbiological research to conservation science for enhanced monitoring and reduction of our environmental impacts.


Q: Describe your research in three sentences or less.

A: My research uses an innovative field study design to precisely measure nitrogen losses from corn agriculture. Over the last three years using this design, I have taken numerous measurements including but not limited to nitrous oxide emitted, nitrate leached, and nitrogen removed in harvest to understand the nitrogen cycle in the context of the crop system. Equipped with this understanding, my goal is to help reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture.


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

A: I hope to gain experience better communicating my research to a broad audience and to hear about other exciting research happening on campus!


Q: Share a fun fact about yourself.

A: When I’m not on campus, I like camping or hanging out with my cat and watching 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 Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. You can watch a livestream of the event on the Graduate College's Facebook page.

Tags: three minute thesis, microbiology