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Young agriculture professionals impress prospective employers

Charlotte Jones, from the University of Western Australia, has won top honours for her presentation on research into links between ecological restoration and human health, at the annual Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum.

Ms Jones of South Perth, was among three finalists selected to submit a research paper and deliver a presentation of their tertiary studies on an issue impacting agriculture or natural resource management.

Presented by the WA Department of Agriculture and Food and the WA Division of Ag Institute Australia, the annual forum provides an opportunity to recognise outstanding students who have completed an undergraduate degree at a Western Australian university.

Ms Jones presented her research on the links between ecological restoration and human health and whether the vital ecosystem service of disease regulation can be restored through restoration interventions.

Awarded second place was Curtin University of Technology student Virginia Wainaina, from Karawara, who shared her research on the use of Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) assay for specific and rapid detection triazole resistant Zymoseptoria tritici strains carrying polymorphisms A379G and 1381V in the CYP51 gene.

Madison Roberts of Bunbury, presented her research, conducted at UWA, on Western Australia’s first hyperaccumulator and was awarded third place and also best presentation.

WA Department of Agriculture and Food acting director general Mark Webb congratulated the all-female finalists on the high quality of their research and presentations, and predicted promising futures for them in the agriculture and food sector.

“Prospective employers in the sector had an opportunity to hear a diverse range of research presented by outstanding finalists, reflecting a high standard of professionals entering the agriculture and food sector,” Mr Webb said.

“The agriculture and food natural resource management sectors provide diverse career opportunities for talented graduates entering the workforce, with growing demand for Western Australia’s agrifood products.”

Ms Jones will represent Western Australia in the National Student Forum being conducted by the Ag Institute of Australia in May 2017 in Manjimup.

The Young Professionals’ presentations were followed by a post-graduate talk by Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food research officer and UWA PhD student Dominie Wright on the use of information communication tools to engage farmers and agronomists in the grains industry.

The forum was held at Technology Park, Bentley.

Image: Young Professionals in Agriculture best presentation winner was UWA student Madison Robert from Bunbury.

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