Alex Kumar defends his dissertation online with a smashing success


Big congratulations to Dr. Alex V. Kumar for defending his PhD dissertation on Friday, 3/27/2020!!  Alex delivered an excellent online defense via Zoom with almost 100 people watching. The title of his dissertation was "Biotic and abiotic drivers of acyclic snowshoe hare population dynamics in a spatiotemporally complex system.”  Giving the first virtual defense at the University of Montana, he prepared the ground for many more online defenses coming up this semester due to the corona virus outbreak.

After he defended his dissertation to his committee in a closed-door meeting, new and old Mills labbies met up for a virtual celebration. Alex revealed some of his tricks for online defense success, leading with wearing basketball shorts throughout the whole seminar and defense. The one part we missed that night was watching Alex perform the beloved ritual of shooting a champagne cork through a ceiling tile at Scott’s office. But I guess now we all have another reason to meet up in Misoula in person, hopefully this summer, but otherwise as soon as we are able.

Now do yourself a favor and watch the recorded defense:

Congrats again Alex, and take care and stay healthy everyone!

-Dr. Marketa Zimova, Post-doc, University of Michigan and Mills lab alumna


Feature Image: Alex's title slide for his dissertation seminar / celebrating after a successful defense


Image 1:  Alex and his fiancée Kara celebrating no revisions with the better Corona


Image 2: Virtual Mills lab celebration (whiskeys present but not shown)


Image 3:  The positive side to an online defense:  a larger and more diverse audience than could attend in person