Bright agricultural innovators win prestigious prizes

21 November 2017

Research on Panama disease in bananas and water dynamics / nutrient placement in irrigated cotton has earned two University of Queensland students the prestigious Bell and Bryan medals.

The medals, presented by the AG Institute of Australia (Queensland branch), commemorate two of Queensland’s most influential agricultural figures Dr W. W. Bryan and Arthur F. Bell, noted for their research in plant breeding, pathology and pasture agronomy.  

Professor in Animal Nutrition Dennis Poppi of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, congratulated winners and finalists at a special presentation at UQ St Lucia campus on November 15.

“The research by these outstanding students has significant potential to benefit agricultural industries and the environment,” Professor Poppi said.

“It covers a remarkable spectrum including virus detection in sweet potato; dairy cow lucerne grazing intensity; bioassays for fungi in macadamias and blueberries; and Great Barrier Reef nutrient stewardship with new fertiliser formulations for sugarcane.”

The Arthur F. Bell Memorial Medal winner is Bachelor Agricultural Science (Honours) student Michael Wellington, who investigated the effect of water dynamics and nutrient placement on root activity and development in irrigated cotton.

The Dr W.W (Wilf) Bryan Memorial Medal winner is Bachelor of Science (Honours) student Noeleen Warman, for her study of the Epidemiology of the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense in Banana.

The Bell Memorial Medal is awarded to the student judged to have submitted the best research project with a clear focus on agriculturally-relevant research, arising from the fourth year of a four-year undergraduate degree.

The Bryan Medal is awarded to the student judged to have submitted the best Honours or coursework masters thesis with a clear focus on agriculturally-relevant research. 

The Bell and Bryan Medals come with an engraved Institute medal and $1000 cash prize. They are judged on the quality of written theses and an oral presentation made to a special meeting of Institute representatives and invited guests.

Professor Dennis Poppi, Bell Medal winner Michael Wellington, AG Institute reps Ms Margaret Jewell, Committee Member, Ag Institute Qld Division – Judging Panel Chair and Mr Brendan Ryan, Chair, Ag Institute, Qld Division – Member of Judging Panel 
Professor Dennis Poppi, Bryan Medal winner Noeleen Warman, AG Institute reps  Ms Margaret Jewell, Committee Member, Ag Institute Qld Division – Judging Panel Chair  and Mr Brendan Ryan, Chair, Ag Institute, Qld Division – Member of Judging Panel

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