How does the inclusion of white clover improve efficiency of dairy production systems? How can we evaluate the social and economic impact of emerging threats within aquaculture security? Answers to these and many other key policy and industry issues were addressed recently at the annual Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) Postgraduate Showcase “Sharing the Science”.
There are currently over 60 postgraduate scholars involved in a wide range of scientific disciplines within AFBI, mirroring the diverse work of the Institute including agriculture, livestock production, agri-environment, plant sciences, animal and plant health, fisheries and aquatic ecosystems, food science and agri-food economics. These scholars are linked to many universities including Queens University, University of Ulster, Leeds University and University College Dublin and funded by bodies such as the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (NI), DAFM/Walsh Fellowships, AgriSearch and AHDB.
The morning session included an interactive student workshop led by Knowledge Transfer Network UK and Queens’s University Belfast. Students learnt how to refine their own ‘elevator pitch’ and discussed different methods of communicating their research to a range of audiences including industry, policy, academia and the general public.
During the afternoon, stakeholders from across industry, academia and government attended to hear about the key innovations being realised by the many PhD projects. Dr Sinclair Mayne AFBI CEO opened the afternoon session by highlighting how important postgraduate scholars are to AFBI’s research programme. Commenting on the event Dr Mayne said “Postgraduate scholars are the life blood of any research organisation, providing an enthusiasm and drive for scientific discovery that enriches AFBI and in turn stimulates innovation and discovery within the local agri-food industry and wider economy. I am confident that, in the coming years, many of today’s post graduate scholars at AFBI will play a major role in meeting the global challenge of sustainable intensification of food production.”
To conclude the event, a panel of judges awarded final year PhD student Donal Griffin the ‘Best presentation’ award for his engaging talk on “Trophic impacts of jellyfish on fish communities in the Irish sea”. Suzanne Beck, a part time PhD student based in AFBI Newforge, also received an award for her poster presentation on the “Fine-scale distribution of harbour porpoise within a costal Marine Protected Area”.
The Showcase concluded with an informal BBQ kindly sponsored by Dunbia and Moy Park.
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”.
All media enquiries to AFBI Press Office
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