Murdoch University forensics researcher Dr Paola Magni has won the national FameLab competition with a funny and fabulous presentation on the sea creatures helping to solve crimes and mysterious plane crashes.
Dr Magni, a wild card entry into the final after winning the People’s Choice award at the semi final event a few weeks ago, will now compete in the international FameLab final in the United Kingdom next month.
She also went home with the National Final People’s Choice award, delighting the audience with a three minute presentation on how a humble barnacle can help investigators understand how long a body has been in water, where it has travelled and where it might have come from.
“Barnacles appear to have a preference for pretty shoes, a little like me!” said Dr Magni, presenting in a pair of sky high heels.
“I was up against 12 other very talented researchers from a number of different disciplines in universities across Australia, so to have won two prizes is thrilling. I am very surprised and honoured.
“As a finalist, I also benefitted from two days of intensive training where we got to hone our presentations and work on our science communication skills.
“I expanded my talk for the final, explaining how research into barnacles found on plane wreckage could help to solve mysterious plane crashes, bringing justice and closure for families.”
FameLab was produced in Australia by the Foundation for the WA Museum with international partner the British Council. The judges for the final were Nobel Laureate Professor Barry Marshall, Director of the British Council in Australia Helen Salmon and astrophysicist Professor Steven Tingey.The international final takes place at the Cheltenham Science Festival on Thursday 6 June.