...also known as "scicomm"
Vanessa always appreciated teachers and university lecturers who took the time to tell a story or broke down hard concepts into smaller parts......
Can you recall a time when someone was trying to explain something to you and you didn’t understand? And then someone else explained it in a completely different way and it clicked? Well, this is why Vanessa loves science communication because explaining hard concepts shouldn’t always be difficult but rather told in a way that you can relate too. Teachers and lecturers that are memorable to Vanessa are those who just did that! Vanessa wants to try and do the same through her science communication.
One of Vanessa’s most fun science communication examples is the web series called The Breach:
Children’s Television, Project Planet, ABC ME.
Vanessa’s research was featured in the Project Planet series (Ep 3). This series is all about helping the environment and learning how to make a change.
FameLab is a wonderful science communication competition where competitors have just three minutes to explain their research. Competitors are only allowed props and are judged on the three C's: content, clarity and charisma.
FameLab 2018 Australian National Winner
Vanessa won the 2018 Australian FameLab National final in Perth, Western Australia. This was a great experience, which allowed Vanessa to discuss her PhD research via a fun and educational platform. As the Australian winner, Vanessa was flown over to the United Kingdom to represent Australia in the international finals.
FameLab 2018 International runner up
Vanessa presented her drone research at the annual Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK, home of the international FameLab finals. There were speakers from nearly 30 countries. Vanessa was succesful in the semi finals and progressed into the final where she won international runner up.
Watch Vanessa’s 2018 FameLab International final talk here:
Watch Vanessa’s FameLab International interview:
Photos from the national and international finals:
Watch Vanessa’s 2018 FameLab Australian final talk via the Australian Science channel here:
Putting the POD
How to get a PhD in Whale Watching!
Have a listen to the podcast below!
Or get it on iTunes
Meet one hardworking Sydney Uni student, Vanessa Pirotta. She works with a boat and a drone. Off Sydney (and in Antarctic waters) she has developed a health profile of migrating whales without touching them. Whales have a 12 month gestation cycle. They synchronise with the seasons. From the tropics to the roaring 40's marine mammals have a story we must listen to.
What The If? Podcast
Vanessa joins hosts Philip Shane and Matt Stanley for a quirky chat about pretending to be whales and imagining if whales moved back to land. What The IF? Podcast has also been highlighted as one of six podcasts for science lovers by Physics Today:
Not just whales.
Although Vanessa’s PhD research is primarily marine based, many of the skills Vanessa has acquired during her studies are transferable. In fact, Vanessa used to work in a zoo where she learnt all about some of the most threatened animals on earth.
A terrestrial animal we should all know about - The pangolin. Some very wonderful friends of Vanessa’s in Singapore told her all about this interesting animal. Did you know they have scales? Well they do! Unfortunately, Vanessa also learnt that they are the world’s most trafficked mammal.