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Tue 13, Nov 2018

This University of Sydney School of Life & Environmental Sciences Student Research Conference, held at the Australian Technology Park over the 7th and 8th November, provided the ideal opportunity for 53 graduate and honours students to present and be judged on their final year research project presentations.

 On the final day, achievement awards were presented to the top two verbal presenters, and for the best supporting poster as judged by facility staff.  In addition, Bob Fozzard, representing the Ag Institute Australia NSW Division, presented the ‘People’s Choice award for the best poster’ and prize, being an Innovation Fuel Box kindly donated by Fuel Box Australia.   The winner of The People’s Choice Award for 2018 was Sophie Fowler  BFoodAgrib [Supervisor Angela Pattison]  for her poster entitled ‘An evaluation of the commercial viability of Australian native grains’. See below photo of Bob explaining the workings of Sophie’s prize, the “Innovation Fuel Box”.  

The winner of the verbal section, with an excellent presentation, was Annie Rayner BEnvSyds [Hon] [Supervisor Michael Walsh].  Anna spoke convincingly on her project ‘Stripper harvester front compatibility with harvest weed seed control’. Annie explained clearly how the use of “rotating finger stripper fronts” improve harvest efficiency and allows retention of standing stubble while perhaps maintaining weed control. [Annie was in transit to the USA at the time awards were presented].

Second in the verbal presentation section was Stephanie Mackillop BScAgr [Supervisor Tanya Latty] who spoke on the topic ‘Trash to Trough: Protein conversion efficiency of Black Soldier Flies and Garden Soldier Flies.’

Stephanie explained that Soldier flies are becoming a popular source of protein for use in the animal feed industry, as they efficiently convert organic waste into edible protein. She indicated that there is the potential for producers to feed larvae on waste materials. [bioconversion] with few input costs, and high protein yields. 

The staff award for the best poster went to Sarah Dawes BfoodAgrib [Supervisor Mark Bradbury] for her supporting poster on the vexed issue of: ‘Persistence of Australian Listeria monocytogenes on whole rockmelons’.

 All students who presented, and staff who supported them, should be congratulated for contributing to yet another successful ‘Stepping Out with Fresh Ideas’ conference.

Thanks to Bob Fozzard for this report.


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