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My Thesis in 180 Seconds 2018 - Louise Souquet and Hadrien De Blander win the Université de Lyon regional final

On The March 29, 2018

The Université de Lyon regional final of the My Thesis in 180 Seconds (MT180) competition was held on Thursday, March 29, in the Université de Lyon's Grand Amphithéâtre. Fourteen candidates from the site's institutions presented their thesis subjects, with a mix of humor and apprehension, to a full house before three jury prizes and one audience prize were awarded.

My Thesis in 180 Seconds, an international French-speaking competition first launched in Quebec, invites PhD students to present their research topic in simple, lay terms to a jury and non-specialist audience. Each year, after the regional final, two candidates from each participating university group compete in a national semi-final.

The Université de Lyon regional final

On Thursday, March 29, fourteen Ph.D. students from the Lyon Saint-Étienne site presented their research project in three minutes. The Université de Lyon's Grand Amphithéâtre had a full house for the event, with around 350 people gathering to support their favorite candidates.

Among the audience was this year's attentive jury, comprising:

  • Guillaume Desbrosse, Director of CCSTI La Rotonde, President of AMCSTI and President of the 2018 MT180 jury;
  • Brigitte Prével, Deputy Director of Development and Communications at the Institut Lumière et Matière de Lyon;
  • Marie-Claire Villeval, Research Director at CNRS and Director of GATE-Lab;
  • David Bruchlen, Director General of ScienceMeUp;
  • Guillaume Lamy, journalist at Lyon Capitale.

The finalists

Louise Souquet won the jury's first prize for her thesis on "The Study of Intraspecific Variation and Covariation Patterns in Conodont Elements" conducted at ENS de Lyon. Behind this mysterious title, her focus lies on the origins of our teeth and their ability to regenerate, by studying those of small prehistoric animals.


Samara Danel, a PhD student at the Université Lumière Lyon 2, won the jury's second prize for her thesis entitled "Physical Cognition in Birds: a General or Adapted Field?", in which she demonstrates how geese and linnets are not as stupid as we think!

Finally, Hadrien De Blander from the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 won third prize for his thesis on "Cellular Plasticity and Tumor Initiation in Breast Cancer Models" by drawing on the metaphor of a Jedi. He also won the audience prize following a vote among the audience at the competition.

Louise and Hadrien will, therefore, be heading to Paris to fly the Université de Lyon's flag during the national semi-final, from April 5 to 7, 2018, before the international final, which will be held in Lausanne on September 27, 2018.

Photo copyright: Université de Lyon