National recognition for biology student

By Dale Johnson Posted: April 7, 2017 9:30 a.m.

Shelby Bohn says she’s proud to finish as a runner-up in for her video explaining her research.
Shelby Bohn says she’s proud to finish as a runner-up in for her video explaining her research. Photo courtesy of Thomas Morgan

A biology student at the University of Regina has finished as a runner-up in a national video contest called "Science, Action!" put on by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.   

Shelby Bohn, a master’s student, is studying how bats on the prairies interact with their environment. She is looking into the habitat that silver haired bats use during the summer, when females gather together in small groups to raise their babies in hollow trees.

The top 25 contestants moved on to a judging round, and those who finished in the top 15, like Bohn, were awarded $2,500 each.

“There was some excellent competition, so I was just glad my video made it to the judging round at all. I'm proud of this” she says.

Bohn says creating the video was challenging because she had to condense her research down to one minute.

Her entry was the only one from Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

“It felt pretty strange and exciting to be representing both provinces,” she says.

Bohn is from Winnipeg and earned B.Sc. honours at the University of Winnipeg before coming to the U of R to study with Dr. Mark Brigham.

“I've been developing my skills as a science communicator throughout my masters, and feedback like this is so encouraging. I also didn't expect this much interest about my actual project, in addition to the video contest. Even people who knew vaguely that I study bats seemed really excited about my specific research question. I might keep making videos like this for every new project I work on because it's such a handy communication tool,” Bohn says.

 She says the competition is important it sharing scientific research.

“I hope my video helps to showcase some of the cool science that we're doing here at the University and on the prairies. I also hope it shows people that science communication matters. It's a skill set that I'm really glad my supervisor has encouraged me to develop and I hope that anyone else who is interested in science communications gets that support as well.”