Meet the Science 2023 GRADflix finalists

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Gradflix with director clapperboard

Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs has announced the 25 finalists for the 2022-2023 GRADflix competition year, which includes seven finalists from the Faculty of Science.

GRADflix is a research communication opportunity for graduate students. Participants will create a video, moving slide show, or animation of no longer than 60 seconds (one minute) in length that describes their research. Participants are evaluated on their: communication, creativity and technical quality. 

New this year, GreenHouse is sponsoring an additional prize for “Most compelling social impact story. The social impact prize will be judged on the research's potential to make a difference in the well-being of people and/or the planet, how urgent is the problem and how big is the problem.

The Faculty of Science has done quite well in past GRADflix competitions. Last year, Eugenia Dadzie and Atiyeh Ahmadi (both from Biology) won first and second place, respectively in the 2021-2022 competition. Sadaf Faisal (School of Pharmacy) won first place in 2020.

Meet the finalists representing the Faculty of Science this year.

Department of Biology

Portrait of Meredith Watson

Name: Meredith Watson (she/her), MSc student

GRADflix video title: Temporal analysis of microplastics in the Grand River watershed

Supervisor: Dr. Roland Hall

Biography: Meredith Watson completed her Bachelor of Science at Queen’s University in Biochemistry, and is now a Master of Science student in the UWaterloo Department of Biology supervised by Dr. Roland Hall. Her research is looking at microplastics in the Grand River Watershed using paleolimnological techniques. A fun fact about her is that she’s vegan and her favourite author is Sally Rooney.

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Portrait of Carson Kinney

Name: Carson Kinney (he/him), PhD candidate

GRADflix video title: The heating of mountain belts: Production and transfer of heat in Earth’s crust

Supervisor: Dr. Chris Yakymchuk

Biography: Carson Kinney is a PhD Candidate in the Earth and Environmental Sciences department at the University of Waterloo who studies why and how rocks get during mountain building. In 2019, he completed an undergraduate degree in geology at the University of Waterloo and this is where he found his passion for decoding earth's mystery. Carson is a proud cat-owner, collector of hobbies, and aficionado of poutine.

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Portrait of Marina Maciel Ansanelli

Name: Marina Maciel Ansanelli (she/her), PhD student

GRADflix video title: Understanding Causality

Supervisor: Dr. Robert Spekkens

Biography: Marina is from São Paulo, Brazil, where she completed her Bachelor degree in Physics. After completing a Master’s degree in Physics at University of Waterloo, which incorporated work from the Perimeter Institute and the State University of São Paulo, she continued at Waterloo and Perimeter for a PhD studying theoretical Physics under the supervision of Prof. Robert Spekkens. She is interested in understanding a bit more about the deepest underpinnings of nature, by means of investigating the foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Marina is also a lover of cats, literature and of recently has started learning to speak Chinese.

School of Optometry and Vision Science

Portrait of Mana (Naeimeh) Monfared

Name: Mana (Naeimeh) Monfared (she/her), PhD candidate

GRADflix video title: Let's help dry eyes: Inventing a novel device

Supervisor: Dr. Paul J. Murphy

Biography: Mana obtained her optometry education in Iran and worked there as an optometrist for many years. At the University of Waterloo, she began graduate studies in the field of optometry and vision science in 2021. As a PhD candidate at MLEO (Murphy Laboratory of Experimental Optometry), she conducts research with respect to the anterior segment of the eye and specifically dry eye disease, under the supervision of Dr Paul Murphy. During her free time, she enjoys travelling and biking, as well as exploring the natural world. In addition, she is a huge fan of the Friends television series.

Portrait of Megala Ramasamy

Name: Megala Ramasamy (she/her), MSc student

GRADflix video title: Development of contact lens testing device using 3D printing

Supervisor: Dr. Lyndon Jones, and Dr. Chau-Minh Phan

Biography: Megala completed her Bachelor's in Biotechnology from Anna University, India. After graduation, she worked as a Project Associate at the Tissue Engineering Biomaterials Lab, Indian Institute of Technology Madras where she worked on the development of biomaterials for diabetic wound healing and bone cancer. Currently, she is pursuing an Master of Science in Vision Science under the supervision of Dr. Lyndon Jones and Dr. Chau-Minh Phan working on the development of microfluidic devices for ophthalmic drug delivery studies. Her research interests primarily focus on developing in vitro eye models, and 3D printing. She enjoys cooking and watching movies in her free time.

School of Pharmacy

Portrait of Rozhannaa Sothilingam

Name: Rozhannaa Sothilingam (she/her), MSc student

GRADflix video title: A step forward into improving clinical pharmacy practice

Supervisor: Dr. Tom McFarlane

Biography: Rozhannaa Sothilingam is currently a Master of Science student in Pharmacy at the University of Waterloo. Her research looks at developing evidence-based quantifiable metrics utilizing a modified Delphi process in ambulatory oncology to advance clinical pharmacy practice. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo in Honours Science with a minor in Biology and Chemistry. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, hiking and checking out new restaurants to eat at.

Portrait of Sakina Fatima

Name: Sakina Fatima (she/her), MSc student

GRADflix video title: Targeting hnRNPA1 for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Supervisor: Dr. Aravindhan Ganesan

Biography: Sakina is second year Master of Science student at UWaterloo, having a degree in Biochemistry from there as well. She has a passion for molecular biology and computational biology. She currently works on in silico protein-ligand dynamics to find out ways to target aggregation-prone proteins in neurodegeneration.

Join Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs for a virtual showcase of the 2023 GRADflix finalist submissions on January 31, 2023 before the winners are announced. The showcase will be streamed live on the GSPA YouTube channel and will feature amazing research videos, special guests, and more. 
Register through Eventbrite to attend virtually. Be part of the action. As an audience member, you will have the chance to cheer on the finalists and vote for the People’s Choice winner.
Good luck to all of the competitors!