NextGen Event That You Won’t Want To Miss!

March 11, 2020

As part of our work to support the next generation of researchers in agricultural science, The Crawford Fund has a number of programs ranging from providing scholarships to our annual conference and specially developed scholar activities to supporting students to add an international experience to their university studies (now open) or providing volunteering opportunities with our mentoring program.

To continue to boost our work supporting the Next Generation, we partnered with Future Farmers Network to host a webinar on making a global difference through agricultural research for development. The webinar discussed working in developing countries and its benefits to our neighbours and Australian agriculture, as well as discussing professional and personal pathways for NextGen agricultural scientists and researchers.

The webinar was hosted by former Crawford Fund scholar and current NSW Committee member, Anika Molesworth. Anika was joined by panellists Lauren MacFarlane-Berry, Veterinary Officer, Epidemiology and One Health Section – Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; Sam Coggins, Graduate Officer, Soil Science, ACIAR and a former Crawford Fund scholar and awardee, and Madaline Healey, Crawford Fund mentor and former volunteer and conference scholar; Research Fellow, University of the Sunshine Coast. All panellists are members of Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID).

Meet the all-star webinar panel

Anika Molesworth

Farmer and PhD Candidate, Crawford Fund NSW Committee member

Until recently, Anika split her life between her family’s arid outback sheep station in Far Western NSW, her PhD crop trials in central NSW, lush green rice paddies in Southeast Asia working as a researcher in international agricultural development. She was awarded the 2015 Young Farmer of the Year, 2017 NSW Finalist for Young Australian of the Year, and most recently headed to Antarctica as part of the Homeward Bound program. Anika is a passionate advocate for sustainable farming, environmental conservation and climate change action. She has been involved in a number of research projects for international agricultural development. Field and lab work have been conducted in Laos and Cambodia in SE Asia, with projects focusing on integrated crop-livestock systems, climate awareness and adaption of small-holder farmers, and improving soil fertility through the cycling of organic residues.

Laura MacFarlane-Berry

Veterinary Officer, Epidemiology and One Health Section – Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Laura is a veterinarian (University of Melbourne, 2008) and has a Master of Science in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health (University of London). She currently works in the Epidemiology and One Health Section in Canberra as an epidemiologist or a “disease detective”. Laura previously worked with the Victorian State government and internationally with Food and Agricultural Organization. In her current role, she provides advice and analyses to support animal disease control and prevention such as such as a current project investigating antimicrobial resistance in egg chickens. She is passionate about using epidemiology to improve animal and human health and support international trade. She has recently been awarded a 2019 Churchill Fellowship to investigate on-the-job applied epidemiology training programs which will involve travelling to Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America.

Laura has worked in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Myanmar. She was a volunteer with the Australian Volunteer Program in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 2012-13 with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, supporting animal influenza surveillance and control and other “One Health” (animal-human-environment) issues including capacity building activities. In 2016, she worked as an Epidemiology Expert with FAO in Ha Noi in Viet Nam also supporting control of animal influenzas and other zoonotic diseases and continued working for them remotely for another year supporting implementation of an animal disease reporting system. In 2018, she also with FAO in Myanmar to update their contingency plans for avian influenza outbreaks and also provided training in livestock health and production data management and analysis.

Sam Coggins

Graduate Officer, Soil Science, ACIAR; former Crawford Fund scholar and awardee.

Sam has a degree in soil science from The University of Sydney and was awarded the University Medal and the prestigious University of Sydney Convocation Medal in 2018. While at uni, he founded the Uni of Sydney Food Wastage Society. He’s been active in the Landcare Society, the Young Farming Champions Program to promote agriculture and break down the rural-urban barriers, he received The Horizon Scholarship and a New Colombo Plan Scholarship. Sam became passionate about working with smallholders following an internship at the International Rice Research Institute and a semester in Sri Lanka during his undergrad ag science degree. Sam was also supported by the Crawford Fund to do an IRRI Rice Training program in 2019.

Sam’s main interest is leveraging digital tools to support scaling of extension services in developing countries. Sam, with two friends, is further developing RiseHarvest, a smartphone app designed to help farmers in Myanmar use nitrogen fertiliser more effectively. This project was selected from 800 teams from 160 countries in the Thought for Food Challenge in 2018. As an ACIAR grad, he was seconded to a Gates-funded digital agronomy project at Rothamsted Research in UK. He’s also doing an interdisciplinary PhD later this year aiming to help alleviating climate risks for farmers abroad and at home.

Madaline Healey

Crawford Fund mentor and former volunteer and conference scholar; Research Fellow, University of the Sunshine Coast

Madaline is a member of the RAID Networking Executive, a Crawford Fund mentor in Laos and a former Crawford Fund conference scholar and former Australian Volunteer Program volunteer on the Fund’s long-term project in Laos. She studied a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Melbourne University and a PhD in thrips ecology at CQU. After her volunteer stint in 2015, Madaline started working at the University of the Sunshine Coast on ACIAR projects in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Her interests are integrated pest management, biological control and all things veggies.

Madaline is an entomologist with a research focus in population dynamics of agro–forestry ecosystems and development of integrated pest management (IPM) programs. Madaline is involved in international forestry and agricultural development research in South East Asia. She is passionate about working with local growers to enhance pest diagnostic skills and develop sustainable control programs.