Meet our 2021-22 3MT Finalists: Kate Borchardt

October 26, 2021 - by Sarah Igram

Kate Borchardt, a third-year Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is a finalist in this year's final Three Minute Thesis (3MT) for the second year in a row. Learn more about Kate and her 3MT presentation, "ISU Prairie Strip Honey: Status and Future," below.

Photo of Kate Borchardt

Kate Borchardt


Q: What brought you to Iowa State?

A: I came to ISU to study wild bee conservation in a highly-agricultural environment to determine effective strategies for maintaining wild pollinator biodiversity.


Q: Describe your research in three sentences or less.

A: I came to ISU to study wild bees, but this summer also studied honey bees until developing a severe honey bee allergy while conducting my research. Now, the focus of my research will be how to use interaction networks and plant-bee community functions to analyze current conservation habitat and inform future conservation programs.


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

A: This is my third time participating in a three minute thesis competition of some sort, and I enjoy the process of simplifying my research in order to create more concise conference presentations and scientific papers.


Q: Share a fun fact about yourself.

A: My favorite bee species in Iowa is Megachile georgica because they have enlarged legs that make them look like little lobsters!


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, ecology evolution and organismal biology, academic awards