Ant researcher wins 3MT at AU

It was Ida Cecilie Jensen from the Department of Ecoscience who reigned supreme at AU’s research communication competition Three Minute Thesis (3MT) – with a presentation about using ants’ acidic toes for pest control in agriculture.

[Translate to English:] Ida Cecilie Jensen er vinder af 3MT på Aarhus Universitet 2023.
Ida Cecilie Jensen won 3MT with a presentation about using ants as pest controllers. In addition to being a PhD student, Ida Cecilie Jensen is also CEO of the start-up AgroAnt. Photo: Søren Kjeldgaard
[Translate to English:] ph.d.-studerende Milica Milic vandt publikumsprisen.
The audience award went to Milica Milic from the Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering for her presentation on biobased plastic. Photo: Søren Kjeldgaard
[Translate to English:] Alle 15 deltagere i 3TM med konferencier Omeed Neghabat.
All 15 participants with host Omeed Neghabat (on the right), who is a PhD student and previous winner of 3MT. Photo: Søren Kjeldgaard

“What do you think of when I say ‘ants’? Irritation? Ruined picnics? I am here to tell you that ants can actually help us”.

This is how Ida Cecilie Jensen began her three-minute tour de force of how ants can be used instead of pesticides – on fruit trees, among other things – because they have antibiotic bacteria on their feet.

Ida Cecilie Jensen was one of 15 PhD students who took the stage in front of a packed Stakladen hall, where last year’s winner, PhD student Omeed Neghabat, guided the audience through the competition.

“I’m cheering on everyone”, said the previous winner of both the Aarhus and the international competition as he welcomed people to the event.

The jury had the following words for the winner:

“Ida Cecilie Jensen took us on a journey from beginning to end, engaged the audience, used humour, and had a clear conclusion”.

The winner receives DKK 35,000. Coimbra Group, who are behind the 3MT competition, will now select the three best speakers from the 35 universities that participated. These speakers will present at the Coimbra Group’s annual conference in Cologne, Germany (31 May—2 June), where the overall winner will be announced.

Ida Cecilie Jensen is an entrepreneur as well as a researcher. Watch her talk about her company AgroAnt here: