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National Student Award

Promoting excellence in future agricultural scientists

The AEV Richardson Memorial National Student Award began in 2012 and is now an official AIA annual event. Undergraduate students who have completed an Honours research project as part of an agricultural science (or related) degree will be selected from each AIA Division of Australia. In order to compete, the selected students must provide a written piece on the background of their research topic and also present a 15 minute talk to a judging panel at the annual AIA event.

Our sponsor

AIA is proud to announce that Peracto is the sponsor of the AEV Richardson National Student Award. Peracto are one of Australia's largest private agricultural research organisations. The company provides a range of independent research, development and related scientific and technical services to private and corporate clients. Visit the Peracto website here

Who was AEV Richardson?

Professor Arnold Edwin Victor Richardson was the founding President of AIAS (now AIA) in 1935. He was born in Adelaide in 1883 and died in Melbourne in 1949. His impressive biography tells of his training at Agricultural College (Roseworthy) and Bachelor and Masters degrees at the University of Adelaide. The University of Melbourne conferred him with the degree of D.Sc. in 1924. While being an established researcher in cereal agronomy and wheat-breeding, Professor Richardson was a leader of many dimensions and levels. He was an advocate for agricultural education and agricultural policy. Read more on Professor AEV Richardson here.

2018 National Student Award Results

1st Place & People's Choice Award

Tasmania - Ryan Warren

Title of Honours or Masters project: Optimising Radio Frequency Identification systems for monitoring variation in individual honey bee behaviour

Ryan studied at the University of Tasmania, working on declining honey bee populations.

“The aim of my research was to optimise a newly developed radio frequency identification (RFID) system for monitoring variation in individual bee behaviour,” he explains.

“The refined system can now be utilised to conduct a wide range of research, contributing to increased understanding of global bee decline.

Second Place

Western Australia - Lydia Inglis

Lydia’s honours research is titled Behavioural measures reflects pain-mitigating effects of meloxicam in combination with Tri-Solfen in mulesed Merino lambs.

“When pain-related behavioural responses were averaged over day of mulesing and the day after, there was no significant differences in pain-related behaviours observed between lambs mulesed with or without pain relief,” she says.

“This result has helped us develop reliable pain response information in lambs, which with continual refinement, will be valuable for the industry.”

3rd Place

NSW - Marie-France Courtois

Title of Honours or Masters Project: Disease suppressive soils: Effects of soil organic amendments on soilborne pathogens of blueberries.

Australian farmers are frequently confronted with low levels of soil
organic matter and a lack of reliable disease control methods.
Pelt and disease management has been identified as a key issue
by the blueberry industry. Encouraging disease suppressive soils
via the application of soil organic amendment is recognised to be a
sustainable solution. The objective of this research was to
determine the effect of soil organic amendments on blueberry plant
health by measuring soil microbial activity; testing of it for the
presence of soilborne pathogens (Phytophthora and Pythium spp.);
and to draw any potential correlation between soil chemical
elements and disease occurrence. Plant health, the presence of
soilborne pathogens, and soil microbial activity were assessed
under three different systems on two commercial blueberry farms
located on the NSW North Coast.


QLD - Noeleen Warman

Title of Honours Project: Epidemiology of the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense in Banana

Panama disease, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense (Foc), is one of the most important and destructive diseases in banana crops. A greater understanding of the epidemiology of this disease is necessary to ensure the on-farm biosecurity practices and monitoring procedures are implemented effectively.

This study used two separate methods to investigate the movement of the pathogen throughout entire banana plants. The results identified important aspects of the disease progression in relation to the development of external symptoms as well as the pathogens life cycle within the host plant.

“The refined system can now be utilised to conduct a wide range of research, contributing to increased understanding of global bee decline.