THE final of the Ag Institute Australia (AIA) National Student Award for 2018 was held at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba last week.
The prestigious AEV Richardson Memorial National Student Award is competed for by students selected from State AIA Divisions, who have completed an Honours or coursework Masters research project as part of an agricultural science (or related) degree.
As part of the competition, finalists provide a written submission on the background of their research topic and also present a 15-minute talk to a judging panel at the final.
Ryan Warren, from the University of Tasmania, working on declining honey bee populations, was named as the national winner.
“The aim of my research was to optimise a newly developed radio frequency identification (RFID) system for monitoring variation in individual bee behaviour,” he explains.
“The refined system can now be utilised to conduct a wide range of research, contributing to increased understanding of global bee decline.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to come to Toowoomba and present my research and to see what others have done. It’s fantastic that Peracto provided me this opportunity through their sponsorship.
“I am continuing my research following the honey bee RFID technology with a PhD at UTas, and I hope to keep contributing to the AIA in the future, continuing to present my findings.”
As the organisation representing agricultural professionals across the nation, AIA Director Dr Daniel Tan says the National Student Award is an important event on the calendar.
“The high quality of the research projects this year are a testament to the incoming talent for Australian agriculture,” Dr Tan says.
“The AIA National Student Award showcases the best talent from leading universities across Australia, and this year was no different.
“We are grateful to the generosity of Peracto for sponsoring this prestigious student award event again this year.”
The prize money, thanks to Peracto, has increased significantly in 2018, with the finalists receiving;
- 1st place – $1400
- 2nd place – $800
- 3rd place – $600
- People’s choice – $400
Official 2018 National Student Award Results:
WINNER: Ryan Warren
SECOND PLACE: Lydia Inglis, Murdoch University, representing Western Australia Researching the use of pain relief in mulesed Merino lambs.
THIRD PLACE: Marie-France Courtois, University of Sydney, representing NSW Researching the effects of soil organic amendments on soil borne pathogens of blueberries.
FOURTH PLACE: Noeleen Warman, University of Queensland (St Lucia), representing Queensland
Researching epidemiology of the pathogen Fusarium oxysporumf.sp. cubense, which causes Panama disease in bananas.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Ryan Warren
While in Queensland, the Ag Institute Australia AGM was also held, with director elections resulting in Dr Turlough Guerin (Victoria) being elected to serve as chair. Previous chair Andrew Bishop (TAS) has completed his two-year term as chair, but will remain on the board. Incoming Directors are Bruce Robinson (WA) and Brendan Ryan (QLD), while the outgoing Directors are Chaseley Ross (QLD) and David Wells (TAS).
All finalists, Ian Macleod from sponsor Peracto, and Ag Institute Australia Chair Dr Turlough Guerin are available for interview.
Source: Ag Institute Australia