Meet our 2021-22 3MT Finalists: Rachel Sorensen

October 26, 2021 - by Sarah Igram

Rachel Sorensen, in her fourth year of Iowa State's Ph.D. program in toxicology, will compete in the final round of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on Oct. 28. Learn more below about Rachel and her 3MT presentation, titled "Possible Problems with Puny Plastic Particles."

Photo of Rachel Sorensen

Rachel Sorensen


Q: What brought you to Iowa State?

A: I have always been interested in toxicology. ISU has one of the best toxicology programs available.


Q: Describe your research in three sentences or less.

A: I expose/feed Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) small pieces of plastic called microplastics and nanoplastics as a model for what may happen to humans as we eat more and more plastic.


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

A: I enjoy sharing my research with different audiences. I hope to simply enjoy the process, and I hope to demonstrate how science presentations can be very informative while enjoyable to listen to.


Q: Share a fun fact about yourself.

A: Besides being a graduate student, I am a pastor at a local church in town!


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, toxicology, academic awards