Pluske awarded Fulbright scholarship

March 13, 2014

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A Murdoch University academic has won a prestigious Distinguished Chair appointment through the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Professor John Pluske

Professor John Pluske will spend six months as the inaugural Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Agriculture and Life Sciences at Kansas State University. His primary research focus will be reducing the reliance on in-feed antibiotics and investigating resistance to dietary antibiotic alternatives in commercial pork production.

He will share his time between the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Professor Pluske said his research will have ramifications not only for the US swine industry, but also for the pork industry in Australia.

“I am deeply honoured to have received such an award and thank the Australian-American Fulbright Commission for this opportunity,” he said.

“My research at K-State will address an important aspect of commercial pig production, namely the increasing concern about the continued use of dietary antibiotics in some parts of the swine industry and the potential for development of antibiotic resistance in certain gut bacteria.

“I am pleased to be involved in a project that will optimise nutritional and management practices to best manage resistance levels under commercial swine production conditions.”

Professor Pluske said Kansas State University is part of the US land-grant university system, and is renowned both in the USA and internationally for its strengths in agriculture and life sciences.

“It has a long and rich heritage in supporting agricultural livestock research and community engagement,” he said.

“In this regard, a further aim of my time at K-State is to understand the relationships between the university (teaching, research and outreach) and the agricultural sectors in Kansas (and other states), and see where Australian universities involved in agriculture can benefit from such an example.”

Professor Pluske is one of 31 Fulbright scholars for 2014, a group that receive support to travel to America in a post-graduate, post-doctoral, senior or professional capacity.

The international Fulbright Program was established in 1946 as an initiative of U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, who believed that cultural and educational exchange could play an important role in building a lasting world peace.

It currently operates between the U.S. and 155 other nations, and more than 325,000 people have become part of the prestigious worldwide alumni.

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