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Young agricultural researchers impress at industry forum

Released on

Released on:
Thursday, 21. March 2019 - 11:00

Curtin University agribusiness graduate Jefferson Allan has been awarded the Noel Fitzpatrick Medal from a field of five outstanding finalists at the Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum yesterday.

Mr Allan also took out the award for best presentation, sharing his 2018 honours research with Curtin’s Centre for Crop and Disease Management related to the pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, which causes Sclerotinia stem rot.

His project compared gene expression in S. sclerotiorum while infecting canola and lupins.

The Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum is presented by the Ag Institute Australia (WA Division) and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The forum showcases the work of selected final year undergraduate, honours or masters students with projects related to primary production, including economics, or the environment.

Despite a city upbringing, this year’s winner was attracted to agriculture because of the varied prospects for applied research and the ability to work outdoors. He has developed a particular interest in cropping and the biology of plants, and is looking to gain practical experience in the area of research agronomy or crop breeding.

Mr Allan will represent Western Australian at the national Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum in Launceston, Tasmania, on 18 April.

This year’s runner up was Chinese student Ci Sun for her masters research in Agricultural Science at the University of Western Australia (UWA) on alternative weed control practices to combat herbicide resistance – a major issue in Australian dryland agriculture.

Third place winner was Ya-Chun Yu, a Taiwanese student, also with UWA, for her masters’ research topic on ‘Susceptibility to Fe2+ toxicity varies greatly among forage legumes.’

Grains development officer with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Jackie Bucat, congratulated the participants on the high calibre of their work.

“This forum is an annual showcase of the high quality research being undertaken by young professionals across the agriculture sector,” Ms Bucat said.

“I am confident these students will make a valuable contribution to their chosen careers.”

The other finalists were:

Prakash Ashikar, presenting his Curtin University masters project on the ‘Influence of fruit position on the tree canopy and harvest dates on the fruit quality of Imperial mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco) fruit.’

Subash Chandra Chavva, presenting his UWA masters project on ‘Genetic diversity within subterranean clover populations following natural selection at five sites.’

Young professionals in Agriculture Forum winners with DPIRD award presenter
DPIRD development officer Jackie Bucat congratulates Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum awardees - Noel Fitzpatrick Medallist and winner of the best presentation, Jefferson Allan, of Crawley, runner-up and Chinese student, Ci Sun, also of Crawley, and third place getter, Taiwanese student Ya-Chun Yu.

Media contacts: Jodie Thomson, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937