Sharing the Wonderful World of Science for Food Security with CSIRO Scholars

January 20, 2021

Dr Di Mayberry

A career in agriculture can deliver global, professional and personal impacts, and this is the message the Crawford Fund will be sharing with some of the brightest young minds in Australia as part of the CSIRO Vacation Scholarship Program underway in Brisbane.

This live interactive Crawford Fund panel and Q&A event being held on Wednesday 27 January, features passionate scientists highlighting their work in agriculture in developing countries and Australia, its benefits to Australian ag and its impact for our neighbours and for them. They will share their experiences exploring countries and cultures while having a rewarding career and making a difference.

The CSIRO Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship Program in Agriculture and Food runs through December and January and offers ‘high achieving and promising undergraduate students the opportunity to collaborate with leading CSIRO scientists. Students work on a real world project and expand their skills and knowledge while exploring ways to solve a real world problem’.

Dr Liz Ota

The program aims to:

  • Expose talented undergraduate students to the excitement of scientific research
  • Attract these students to careers in agricultural and food sciences
  • Contribute to CSIRO’s research effort in basic and strategic research in sustainable agriculture

“This first NextGen event for 2021 ties in wonderfully with our suite of activities aimed at encouraging passionate next generation ‘NextGen’ Australians in their study, careers and volunteering for food and nutrition security,” said Cathy Reade, Director of Outreach at the Crawford Fund, who will moderate the event.

Dr Lee Hickey

The event speakers are:

Dr Di Mayberry is a Senior Research Scientist with CSIRO Agriculture and Food and started her research career with a CSIRO summer studentship in 2002/03. Di is a former Crawford Fund conference scholar and a founding member of the Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID) network. Di combines her background in ruminant nutrition with systems modelling approaches to improve the long-term viability of livestock production systems in Australia and developing countries. Her research portfolio encompasses work at the animal, farm/household and regional scales, and she has worked on sheep, beef and dairy production systems in Australia, Indonesia, China, Myanmar, India and Tanzania.

Dr Lee Hickey is Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Crop Science in the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at UQ. Lee is a member of the Crawford Fund Qld Committee and former Crawford Fund conference scholar. Lee leads an innovative team conducting discovery and applied research on wheat and barley. This includes understanding the genetics of key traits, plus the development of novel technologies to assist plant breeders.

Dr Liz Ota is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre at Sunshine Coast University. Her research areas cover small-scale forestry, community forestry, forest and landscape restoration and sustainable livelihoods. She is currently working in ACIAR projects on the ways in which local people’s capacity shapes forest and landscape restoration in the Philippines and how restoration leads to sustainable livelihoods; and in the evaluation of financial viability and development of business models for agroforestry tree species in Vanuatu, including sandalwood, canarium nut and whitewood.