Albany-based science student Lauren Pullella will travel to Malaysia to examine food sustainability in an indigenous community as the inaugural recipient of the Arjen Ryder Memorial Scholarship.
The University of Western Australia (UWA) student will focus her Honours research on evaluating food availability and changing diets of the indigenous Orang Asli people of Malaysia. Lauren and other UWA Albany researchers will be collaborating with Professor Dato' Dr Abdul Rashid Khan from the Penang Medical College in Malaysia.
Ms Pullella’s work will be supported by a $5000 scholarship in memory of Mr Ryder, who worked for 30 years in the agriculture sector with a focus on resource management and sustainable farm practices.
Mr Ryder and his wife Yvonne lost their lives on flight MH17 in the Ukraine plane crash.
Family, friends, co-workers, farmers and community members have supported a scholarship fund to support students living in the Albany region studying at the UWA Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management.
Ms Pullella’s studies will involve field trips to Malaysia, in collaboration with local community members, to deploy motion-sensor cameras in the jungles surrounding the Orang Asli villages to collect data on the presence and abundance of species hunted for food.
“The village I will be working with is slowly beginning to introduce more western agricultural and hunting practices into their lifestyle,” Ms Pullella said.
“The research will not only contribute to a greater understanding of the sustainability of the traditional Orang Asli diet, but will also help us to understand and potentially improve the sustainability of their hunting and agricultural regimes.
“I am grateful for the opportunity presented to me through this scholarship and look forward to sharing the results of my study.
“I hope that one day the sustainable agricultural model that we are using in this research will be adapted and applied locally in the South-West.”
UWA Albany Centre Director Jennifer O’Neil said the Arjen Ryder Memorial Scholarship was a lasting legacy of a man who devoted his life to the study of sustainable agricultural practices.
“We are delighted that one of our talented and devoted students will be the first recipient of the scholarship,” Ms O’Neil said.
“The scholarship will provide Lauren with a supported opportunity to develop new knowledge in the area of sustainable food production.”
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Albany-based officer Tim Overheu congratulated Ms Pullella as the inaugural recipient of the Arjen Ryder Memorial Scholarship.
“I am really pleased with how members of Arjen's family, and the staff of the Albany Office have embraced the news of the Scholarship recipient and the project to be completed,” Mr Overheu said.
“A number of staff who knew Arjen well have asked for Lauren to visit the office next year to provide an update on her study.”
David Stacey (UWA Media and PR Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716
Paula Phillips (UWA Albany Centre Manager) (+61) 8 9842 0810