AFBI-QUB PhD students excel at postgraduate day

PORTGRAD STUDENTS RI Farm
RIGHT: Naomi Rutherford, who won best final-year presentation at the DAERA postgraduate conference, pictured with supervisor Dr Francis Lively at AFBI Hillsborough.

AFBI-QUB students Naomi Rutherford and Paul Cottney recently won best presentation and best poster respectively at the annual DAERA postgraduate conference. This is a key achievement for both these students within a strong field of postgraduate students from QUB, UU and AFBI working across agri-food challenges.

AFBI currently hosts over 40 PhD students, in conjunction with QUB and other universities, working on a range of research topics aligned with AFBI’s strategic priorities in terms of leading improvements in the agri-food industry, enhancing the natural and marine environments and protecting animal, plant and human health.

ABOVE: Paul Cottney, who won best second-year poster at the DAERA postgraduate conference, pictured with supervisor Dr Lisa Black and Linda Childs at AFBI Crossnacreevy.

Funding for studentships is derived from a range of governmental, university and industry sources. Naomi and Paul are both supported by DAERA PhD funding, which is a key source of support to help develop the next generation of researchers and industry leaders.

Naomi won best final-year presentation for her study investigating rumen temperature during the pre-slaughter phase of Holstein bulls and its relationship with meat quality. This research was in addition to Naomi’s core work investigating the impact of grazing strategies for beef animals. Naomi’s research supervisor is Dr Frances Lively, Head of Beef Research at AFBI, Hillsborough.

Paul won best second-year poster illustrating his work on the potential benefits from using cover crops within arable rotations. Paul’s wider programme of work is focused on nutrient cycling and soil health, especially within arable systems. Paul’s research supervisor within AFBI is Dr Lisa Black, a Principal Scientific Officer in AFBI’s Grassland and Plant Sciences team.

AFBI congratulates Naomi and Paul on their awards.

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