2022 Student Awardees to take flight

July 13, 2022

As the world starts re-opening to travel, we are starting to have student awardees from previous years undertaking overseas travel in research projects. We are pleased to add thirteen talented university students from around Australia to those who will travel overseas to undertake research made possible by Crawford Fund Student Awards.

The Student Awards, offered by our State and Territory Committees, are part of our NextGen program to support and encourage young people in studies, careers and volunteering in international agricultural research and development. The successful applicants will get to experience international agricultural research and development firsthand, complying of course, with DFAT travel advice for health and safety purposes.

This year, our fifteen students, come from the Australian National University, the University of Canberra, Charles Darwin University, Charles Sturt University, Griffith University, James Cook University, The University of Tasmania, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia. They will be carrying out research across a diverse range of topics focused in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Laos, Kenya, Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Brazil and Zimbabwe.

These awards not only allow students to travel overseas and experience different cultures and research environments, they also present opportunities for collaborating and networking. These awards largely exist because of connections between Australian researchers and organisations with their counterparts globally. Students in this cohort will connect with institutions including the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR); the University of the Philippines; the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); Morigaon College affiliated to Gauhati University in India; INVE Aquaculture; Holeta Agricultural Research Center of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR); Pacific-European Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme; IPB University Indonesia; The Pacific Community (SPC); University of Sao Paulo (ESALQ); International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT); The John Innes Centre and CIMMYT.

Thank you once again to all the university supervisors and project leaders, at home and overseas, who make it possible for our awards to take place.

We look forward to introducing our awardees individually and sharing their experiences. We wish them well in their studies.

Congratulations to our 2022 Student Award Recipients!

Australian Capital Territory

Harry Campbell-Ross, Australian National University
Location/Focus: Philippines
Research: Assessing Smallholder Food System Resilience at a Community Scale
Other Collaborating Institutions: University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB)

Xolile Ncube, Australian National University
Location/Focus: Zimbabwe
Research: Transforming Irrigation in Southern Africa
Other Collaborating Institutions:  ACIAR Project (LWR/2016/137) hosted in country by the International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

Bimal Sharma, University of Canberra
Location/Focus: India
Research: Patterns of Rural Community Livelihood and Managing Natural Resources in the Brahmaputra Valley of Assam, India
Other Collaborating Institutions: Morigaon College affiliated to Gauhati University, Assam, India

New South Wales

Nicolette Duncan, Charles Sturt University
Location/Focus: Laos and Cambodia
Research: To determine the effectiveness and impact of fish friendly irrigation guidelines written between 2018-2020 for the Lower Mekong Basin and if and how they could be improved.
Other Collaborating Institutions: ACIAR Project 153 – FishTech: Integrating technical fisheries solutions into river development programs across South East Asia.

Northern Territory

Lucinda Middleton, Charles Darwin University
Location/Focus: Indonesia
Research: Nutrition-sensitive aquatic food systems: have mangroves been overlooked for their potential to support gendered food and nutrition security in Indonesia?
Other Collaborating Institutions: Partners include Blue Forests and Tanjungpura University (West Kalimantan, Indonesia)


Phoebe Arbon, James Cook University
Location/Focus: Thailand
Research: Biosecurity and genetic improvement for disease resistance in large scale shrimp aquaculture
Other Collaborating Institutions: INVE Aquaculture

Nakita Cally, University of Queensland
Location/Focus: Ethiopia
Research: Screening diverse barley accessions for resistance to net form net blotch in Queensland and Ethiopia
Other Collaborating Institutions: Holeta Agricultural Research Center of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Ethiopia

Cristina Ruano Chamorro, James Cook University
Location/Focus: Pacific Islands
Research: Advancing equity in small-scale fisheries management in the Pacific Island nations
Other Collaborating Institutions: Pacific-European Marine Partnership (PEUMP) programme on mainstreaming gender, social inclusion and human rights-based approaches in coastal fisheries

Madeleine Grist, University of Queensland
Location/Focus: South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Research: Value Chain Analysis of Tropical Carrageenan Seaweed Propagules in South Sulawesi
Other Collaborating Institutions: IPB University from Indonesia, with assistance from on-the-ground staff of the Commodities SIP as part of the Australia Indonesia Center Partnership for Australia-Indonesia Research.

Edith Kichamu, Griffith University
Location/Focus: Kenya
Research: Drivers and barriers to the realisation of effective climate smart landscapes: Stakeholder perspectives

Jemma Restall, University of Queensland
Location/Focus: Pacific Islands
Research: Validation of a Method for Screening Taro (Colocasia esculenta) for Drought Tolerance.
Other Collaborating Institutions: The Pacific Community (SPC), Project: Evaluating Salinity Tolerance in Diverse Taro (Colocasia) Wild Relatives to Enhance Food Security in the Pacific Islands; Project ID: APSF21074

Bethany Smith, James Cook University
Location/Focus: Solomon Islands
Research: Assessing risk within social-ecological systems: Using capacity building to operationalise a spatial decision support tool, guiding resilient livelihood development in Solomon Islands.
Other Collaborating Institutions:  ACIAR Project: Spatially Integrated Approach to Support a Portfolio of Livelihoods (SRA No: FIS/2020/111)


Loic Fery, University of Tasmania
Location/Focus: Fiji
Research: Landcare – an agricultural extension and community development model at district and national scale.
Other Collaborating Institutions: ACIAR Project Landcare – an agricultural extension and community development model at district and national scale in Fiji (Project Code: SSS/2019/140)


Oscar Fung, The University of Melbourne
Location/Focus: United Kingdom
Research: CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to improve plant growth and grain quality of bread wheat.
Other Collaborating Institutions: The John Innes Centre, UK and CIMMYT, Mexico.

Western Australia

Amelia Hawkins, The University of Western Australia
Location/Focus: Brazil
Research: Catalyzing and Learning through Private Sector Engagement (CAL-PSE).
Other Collaborating Institutions: International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and University of Sao Paulo (ESALQ).