Funding boost for sheep research students

March 26, 2017

From left to right: Chad Averill, Lydia Inglis and Amy Bowden have won scholarships to fund their honours research

From left to right: Chad Averill, Lydia Inglis and Amy Bowden have won scholarships to fund their honours research

Three Murdoch University animal science students have won scholarships to support honours research into costly issues for the Australian sheep industry.

Amy Bowden, Chad Averill and Lydia Inglis have each been awarded $7,000 by the Australian Wool Education Trust (AWET).

Lydia will investigate the effectiveness of a pain relief treatment for a preventative surgical procedure which helps farmers tackle fly strike, a condition caused by flies. Each year, fly strike costs the sheep industry more than $173 million due to loss of production and increased management expenses.

Amy will be investigating the relationship between the number of ewes in a flock, the amount of feed-on-offer and the cause of death in newborn twin Merino lambs. And Chad will be looking into the most efficient feeding strategies for different types of sheep.

The three students said they were thrilled to receive the scholarships because it showed that experts within industry valued their research.

Lydia said: “This project has already engaged me in the welfare sector in sheep production and there is continual research that needs to be done. I am passionate about animal welfare in a production context and working towards benefiting our producers and industry.”

Chad added that the funding would increase the level of influence his research would have in the sheep industry, and thanked Murdoch academic staff for their support.

“Murdoch staff are extremely knowledgeable about the industry and have encouraged and supported us throughout our applications, leading to the success,” he added. “Murdoch as a whole always encourages people to apply for scholarships and give their support when needed.”

Amy added that she hoped the scholarship and research project would boost her chances of a career in the industry.

“I am very passionate about both animals and agriculture so a career that combines the two is what I’m working towards,” she said.

The AWET honours scholarships are for students interested in a career and doing research in the sheep and wool industry. The AWET supports 15 honours scholarships per year with a value of $7,000. Half the scholarship is allocated to the student and the balance to the University to fund the students’ honours research.

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