2012 Young Scholars: Sarah Noack

Sarah Noack
Sarah Noack

University of Adelaide

…this conference was a great insight into Australia’s role in  international agricultural research and the main organisation involved  in leading this research and extension.

Attending the Crawford Fund Conference as a student this year was a great experience and opportunity to increase networks, understand Australia’s role in international agriculture and discuss the issue of global food security.

It was fantastic to meet other likeminded students in the area of agricultural research from all across Australia and the invited international students. Our projects spanned a very diverse range of topics and it was particularly interesting to hear from those students who were involved in projects which have international collaboration. It was great to be able to learn from those students about the sorts of research currently going on and the highlights and challenges that come with working overseas.

It was similarly great to hear from a range of people from research, industry, government and aid programs about the work and projects they are currently taking on. Attending this conference was a great insight into Australia’s role in international agricultural research and the main organisation involved in leading this research and extension. This better understanding was especially useful for me as I head towards finishing my PhD, and start considering the next step in my research career.

The Conference presentations brought up many of the key issues and opportunities surrounding global food security. I personally found Prof. Jonathan Foley’s presentation a highlight of the conference. Prof. Foley’s work modelling global sustainability issues was fascinating. It was great that he not only talked about the problems we are facing but, summarised some potential actions that could be taken to fix these problems. Prof. Foley’s modelling and remote sensing work allows him to put numbers on large scale processes which is a great driver for change and improvement. His discussion of food wastage, closing “food gaps” and rethinking the western diet were certainly brought up in conversations throughout the day.

Lastly, thank you to the Crawford Fund and in particularly the South Australian committee for the conference award. Also thanks to Roger Wickes for being a great host and mentor during the conference. The conference was a very valuable experience for my career development and something I will encourage future students to attend.