USC student researchers shine in Canberra

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USC student researchers shine in Canberra

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Published on 8 October 2014

A USC student’s poster about his research into the effects of traumatic childbirth on the mental health of fathers has won a prestigious national university competition in Canberra.

Psychology Honours student Christian Inglis, 23, of Forest Glen took out the Best Poster award at ‘Posters in Parliament’ – an exhibition and celebration of Australian undergraduate student research that was displayed in Parliament House, Canberra, recently.

The competition judges, all eminent senior academics from various universities, chose Christian’s work from the 33 finalists’ posters on display at the exhibition.

Participants created educational posters to explain and illustrate their research work and were available to answer questions from visitors during the exhibition.

It mirrors similar events overseas – ‘Posters on the Hill’ in the US Congress and ‘Posters in Parliament’ in the UK – designed to raise the profile of research by attracting publicity and the attention of politicians and other key decision makers.

Christian, who hopes to get funding to continue his research, said posters were a great way to present research because findings could be displayed graphically and people didn’t have to read pages of information to understand.

“When I started my research, I was surprised to find that only seven other research papers worldwide had been published on the topic of the difficulties fathers face following traumatic childbirths,” he said.

“My research found that 11.5 percent of fathers experience clinically significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic childbirth, and almost 20 percent suffer moderate to extremely severe depression.

“The feedback at the event was wonderful with quite a few politicians and professors congratulating me on my work and agreeing that it is a topic that needs further investigation.”

The event coincided with the annual Australasian Conference of Undergraduate Research (ACUR), this year hosted by ANU in Canberra at which another USC researcher’s work was recognised.

Third-year USC Biomedical Science student April Strong, 24, of Parrearra, was runner-up for the Best Presentation and Submitted Paper award at the ACUR for her work ‘the role of neurohormones in aquatic parasitic host-finding behaviours’.

Her research focussed on the particular way that parasitic flatworm larvae find the aquatic snail hosts needed to complete their life cycle, resulting in the infection of millions of people in developing nations.

— Jane Cameron

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