AFBI Plant Pathologist judges at BT Young Scientist Awards

Date published: 24 January 2017

Area of Expertise:

AFBI’s Richard O’Hanlon from Grassland and Plant Science Branch attended the BT Young scientist exhibition as a judge in the Biological and Ecological Science category.

Dr Richard O'Hanlon (AFBI)

This year saw the highest number of project submissions to date with more than 2000 submitted for preliminary selection, from which only 550 projects were selected from schools in Ireland and Northern Ireland to take part in the exhibition. The projects were of a very high standard, and judging their scientific quality and novelty was a difficult task.

In the end, a technology project won the overall prize, with 1 biological and ecological science project (prey availability for hen harriers) getting into the top four projects.

There were projects on a very wide range of subjects of direct interest to AFBI, including agriculture (‘Agroforestry and carbon sequestration’ won the Teagasc prize), horticulture (‘Environmentally friendly plant pots’ won a category prize) and plant pathology (‘Tree bark antimicrobials’ won a category prize). It was interesting to note the involvement of many 3rd level educational and research performing institutes in the research projects that ranked highest. Some of this work even goes on to be published in international peer review journals (e.g. McEvoy et al. 2016, Plant Pathology. Doi: 10.1111/ppa.12529), a fact which highlights the quality of the work done for the exhibition.

See here for more information on the event. 

Notes to editors: 

AFBI carries out high quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for DAERA and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies. 

AFBI's Vision is “Scientific excellence in Northern Ireland …  serving the world”.

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