Western Australian farmers are likely to benefit from the research of two award-winning PhD students from The University of Western Australia, Megan Chadwick and Weihua Chen.
They have won travelling fellowships honouring the former Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Dr Mike Carroll. The scholarships will enable them to enrich their postgraduate studies with overseas and interstate study tours.
Emeritus Professor Bob Lindner of UWA’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences said Megan would use her $5,000 fellowship to work with Professor Fred Provenza in the US. “Professor Provenza is a world leader in research into the use of sheep and shrubs to manipulate the farm environment. Megan will focus on trying to better adapt sheep to eating a high salt diet to increase sheep production from saltbush. Saltbush is important in developing new farming systems that make profitable use of saline land and lower the water table,” Professor Lindner said.
Weihua, whose fellowship is worth $4,010, will spend three months at The University of Adelaide, carrying out specialised experiments on the transport of phosphate in plants with Professor Steve Tyerman, also a world expert. “Phosphorus, the least available micro-nutrient in WA soils, is an essential element to plants. It is involved in energy transfer reactions and acts as a structural component of key plant molecules,” Professor Lindner said. “Weihua’s research is crucial for improving understanding of the regulation of phosphorus acquisition and use-efficiency in crops.”
The annual Mike Carroll Travelling Fellowship was established in recognition of Dr Carroll’s devotion to agriculture, and for his tireless and selfless efforts to improve the lot of farmers, the wider agricultural community and his scientific colleagues. The Fellowship also reflects the great value he placed on international relationships. Dr Carroll served the State by making a significant contribution to agriculture over many years. He was widely respected locally, nationally and internationally.
Major Fellowship donors included the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Department of Agriculture of WA. The Fellowship was presented at a ceremony in UWA’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences today.
Emeritus Professor Bob Lindner 61 8 6488 2563