12 December 2002

Research into an environmentally friendly wastewater treatment has won a prestigious University of Queensland award for mature age student John Goopy.

John will be presented with the Bryan Medal for his Bachelor of Applied Science honours project at the UQ Gatton Campus graduation on Friday, December 13.

About 400 graduates from across the eastern States will have their academic achievement recognised at the 11 am ceremony.

John studied the potential for growing a native plant, Duckweed, to reduce nutrient levels in abattoir effluent.

Trials were conducted with the small, free-floating plant at the Valley Beef Abattoir at Grantham. The national meat industry body MINTRAC helped fund the research.

The plant grew in diluted waste, soaking up nitrogen and phosphorous. With a 50 percent protein it has the added potential of being harvested for stockfeed.

John began his degree at UQ Gatton after working 12 years as a financial planner and hopes to continue his study and research.

The UQ Gatton graduation will include students from a range of disciplines including agriculture and horticulture, animal studies, environmental management and agribusiness.

Among the first class honours graduates will be David Campbell of Hervey Bay and Rebecca Yarrow of Miriwinni in far north Queensland.

David, who starts a career as a horticultural agronomist in Bundaberg next year, studied zero tillage planting equipment. His work looked at the most effective equipment to establish new crops through the trash residue from the previous planting.

Rebecca studied four serious incursions of exotic weeds in tropical north Queensland, all of which are under active eradication programs.

An outstanding class of agribusiness graduates will be led by Queensland Cotton Award winner, Sarah Jones-Trifelly of Mackay.

A number of students will be presented with higher awards including PhD graduate Leonie Pearson of Melbourne. Leonie is the daughter of a former Director at UQ Gatton, Professor Craig Pearson.

For further information on the UQ Gatton graduation, contact Anthony Smith
on 5460 1229.