Dog mastitis study wins 3MT master’s final


3MT master's final and People's Choice winner Siti Anurddin


Canine mastitis researcher Siti Anurddin’s study on what causes the potentially fatal condition has won the Massey University final of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) for master’s entries.

Ms Anurddin, a Malaysian student who is studying with the Institute of Veterinary, Animals and Biomedical Sciences, beat four other finalists and also won the People’s Choice Award at the Manawatū campus event this week.

She won the competition with a compelling presentation based around a cute slide of the golden Labrador Retriever from the 2008 movie Marly & Me, and the tagline; ‘Got milk?”

3MT is an X Factor-style competition to find postgraduate researchers with dazzling presentation skills doing exciting research.

Already a qualified vet with a degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia, Ms Anurddin came to New Zealand in June this year to carry out her research on a topic she is passionate about. It is potentially fatal in dogs if untreated, spreading through the bloodstream to cause septic shock.

Mastitis, which affects animals and humans, is a bacterial infection of milk-producing mammary glands during lactation. Ms Anurddin says dogs in guide dog, working farm dog and police dog breeding programmes are at risk, and is focusing her research on guide dogs.

“There’s a gap in our knowledge of what the causes might be, even among these precious dogs that are well cared for,” she says. She is examining data on guide dog health dating back to 1998 to identify patterns in the condition that might help reveal causes and, ultimately, ways to prevent it.

She is also currently a tutor in at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University Malaysia Kelantan and hopes to study for a PhD.

“I am very passionate about research and am always finding ways to present my research findings to the community and introduce it to relevant parties and industries to help bridge the gap between academic research and society,” she says.

She won $1000 towards research costs as the winner and $250 cash for the People’s Choice Award. She will represent the University at the National Inter-University finals at Palmerston North’s Globe Theatre in September. The event will also include the Massey finals for PhD heat winners from Manawatū, Wellington and Albany campuses, which attracted a total of 44 entries.

Runner-up Simon Herbert, a philosophy student


Plato’s formula for sifting truth from falsity awarded runner-up

Runner-up Simon Herbert, a philosophy student from the School of Humanities, tackled the topic of how we can tell truth from fiction with his presentation on Plato’s Account of Negation and Falsity.

Other finalists were Lance Simpson (Institute of Fundamental Sciences), who spoke on the potential impact of a chromosomal protein in fighting cancer; Angela Neville (Institute of Education), on how to help school students struggling with literacy; and Kelly Hong (Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences) on developing a new generation of antibiotics not resistant to superbugs.

The contestants were judged by Manawatū campus registrar Dr Sandi Shillington, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences lecturer Professor John Cockrem, Institute of Fundamental Sciences lecturer Professor Kathryn Stowell and Associate Head of the School of Sport and Exercise Dr Matthew Barnes.

The national master’s event was launched last year and won by Massey student Hannah Young, for her psychology thesis on the near-death experiences of Northland Māori.

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