“Dance Your Ph.D.” has a 2014 winner. Gone are the bloated texts and statistics of dissertations. These doctoral candidates are letting some fancy footwork and more do the talking for their dissertations.

Uma Nagendra got her hands dirty in the forest gathering data for her Ph.D. in plant biology at the University of Georgia, Athens. But, it was skills on a flying trapeze that won the biology category and the overall 2014 title.

Plant-soil feedbacks after severe tornado damage: Dance Your PhD 2014 from atinytornado on Vimeo.

Nagendra and five fellow dancers represented seedlings as they twist and turn on the ropes to show “how several different species of tree seedlings in the southern Appalachian Mountains interact with soil organisms – and how tornadoes might mix things up,” according to the video description.

I love it. Great dancing, and explains topics in a quick, fun way.

Nagendra received a $1,000 and a free trip to Stanford University next May, where her video will be screened.

Here’s the other winners in Chemistry, Physics, Social Science and Online Audience Vote. Tell me which one was your favorite in the comments.

Chemistry Winner – Saioa Alvarez. University of Basque Country, Spain. (Explains the chemistry of mayonnaise and other emulsions.)

Dance your PhD 2014 – “Reduced-fat mayonnaise: Can´t maintain it´s stability” from Saio Nara on Vimeo.

Physics Winner – Hans Rinderknecht. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (explains how he used light to trigger nuclear fusion.)

In The Ring: A Fusion Odyssey (Dance Your PhD 2014) from Mariah Steele on Vimeo.

Social Science Winner – David Manzano Cosano. Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. (highlights the history of technology and colonialism in the Pacific.)

Dance your Phd from David Manzano on Vimeo.

Online Audience Vote – Venanzio Cichella. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Multiple Robots – Dancing Tango from Venanzio Cichella on Vimeo.

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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