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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.

2017 National Student Award Results 

Below are the results of the National Student awards held in Manjimup on the 18th May 2017:

First Place: Ashlea Schott (TAS)
Second Place: Rudi McEwin (S.A.)
Third Place: Kiara Crook (QLD)

Peoples' Choice: Rudi McEwin (S.A.)

Finalist: Grace Scott (NSW)
Finalist: Charlotte Jones (W.A.)

Congratulations to all of you for excellent presentations. You are all winners!

First Place: Ashlea Schott (TAS)

Ashlea’s research project at the University of Tasmania investigated the effect of assimilate supply and vernalisation duration on flower yield and production in pyrethrum.

It was found that carbon limitation during floral initiation significantly reduced flower yield compared to plants that experienced carbon deficit during floral expansion and those that received no carbon limitation. Thus, floral initiation is a key developmental stage that could be targeted for crop management.


Click here to see Ashlea's presentation

Click here to read Ashlea's essay 



Second Place & Peoples' choice award winner: Rudi McEwin (S.A.)

Rudi's research has been focussed on testing the impact of non-additive genetic effects on Wagyu carcass quality.

Rudi found that non-additive genetic effects did in fact have negligible impact, accounting for up to 2.3% of the variance in muscling traits, while no influence on marbling was observed.

Click here to see Rudi's presentation

Click here to read Rudi's essay 







Third Place: Kiara Crook (QLD)

Kiara's research has been focussed on the effect of organic amendments on sugarcane root health and function, and associated nematode populations.

“The slotting of organic matter into the subsoil has been researched in the grains industry to successfully alleviate subsoil constraints and has now been proposed for the sugar industry,” Ms Crook says.

“A short field trial aimed to investigate potential treatment effects and confirm the negative effects of a sodic soil and high pathogen load on roots in a realistic environment.”


Finalist: Grace Scott (NSW)

Last month Grace won the Chris Russell Medal of Excellence for her work into creating new cultivars of nutritionally sound crops, giving her entry to the national final.

For her project, Grace presented her work on the potential use and manipulation of carotenoids to create new cultivars of nutritionally sound crops.

Her project is focussed on plant biochemistry, physiology and genetics. Grace’s work revealed the below ground effects of carotenoids using a non-carotenoid CRTISO mutant and chemical inhibitor (D15).



Finalist: Charlotte Jones (W.A.)

Charlotte earnt her place at the finals by winning the annual Young Professionals in Agriculture Forum in Perth for her presentation on research into links between ecological restoration and human health.

She says her project explored links between environmental health and human health, and whether restoration affects disease risk posed by ticks.



Click here to see Charlotte's presentation

Click here to read Charlotte's essay 


The judges for the essays were Virginia Shaw (ACT), Konrad Chung (Tas) and Glenn MacDonald (S.A.).

The judges for the presentations were Daniel Tan (NSW), Ian Macleod (Peracto), Don Burnside (W.A.) and Natalie Moore (W.A.).


Thank you to everyone involved for a fantatstic event.