10 December 2003

Exceptional achievers from the Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science will join hundreds of graduates receiving degrees at a 3pm ceremony at the University of Queensland this afternoon (Wednesday, December 10).

School of Veterinary Science Dux

The 2003 Veterinary School Dux and winner of the Australian Veterinary Association Queensland Division Award is Fran Kelly, an outstanding student who grew up on a sheep and grain property at Chinchilla on the western Darling Downs.

She will graduate with first-class honours and a Grade Point Average of 6.88 (out of a possible 7), having completed one year of animal science studies at Gatton before starting veterinary science at St Lucia in 1999.

Ms Kelly took a particular interest in cattle in the final two years of her course and in 2003 achieved a grade of 7 in both subjects for dairy and beef cattle medicine and production.

Her final-year essay focused on beef cattle breeding and feeding in northern Australia.

During her studies, she gained practical experience working with vets in Mount Isa, Longreach and Charters Towers in north Queensland; Beaudesert near Brisbane; and Tenterfield in northern NSW.

In her final year she spent time working on an Australian Agricultural Company property in the Gulf Country on extensive beef cattle management and is keen to begin her veterinary career in northern Australia.

Weed-control research wins Bell Memorial Medal

Valuable research on control of the serious weed pest mother-of-millions has won a top award for outstanding 2003 University of Queensland graduate Rowena Gray.

Ms Gray studied the effectiveness of a range of chemicals on the declared noxious weed as her honours project in agricultural science, a project which was awarded the prestigious Bell Memorial Medal.

Her interest was driven from practical experience battling the weed on the family property near Murgon where her parents raise cattle and grow the pharmaceutical crop duboisia.

She received support for her weed research from the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management and completed a series of pot trials using registered chemicals and surfactants at the Centre for Pesticide Application and Safety at UQ Gatton.

In her research two common species of the weed produced different reactions suggesting tailored control programs would be more effective.

“Not a lot of work has been done on chemical control for this serious pest and there is a need for further research,” she said.

Ms Gray plans to continue postgraduate studies in native plant seed biology, working with the world-famous Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom on the millennium seed bank project.

Industry supports PhD research on irrigating grain with piggery effluent

A research thesis on irrigating grain with piggery effluent by University of Queensland PhD graduate Yolande Kliese has attracted international interest.

Ms Kliese has presented papers on her research, conducted on the Darling Downs, at a pig conference in the United States and at a national conference in Adelaide.

She studied the nitrogen benefits from pig waste on crops of barley, wheat and sorghum on farms in the Millmerran and Bowenville districts while based at the Leslie Research Centre in Toowoomba.

Ms Kliese now lives on an irrigated beef finishing property near Gympie with her husband Shayne Lambert.

She studied for a degree in soil science before embarking on the piggery effluent thesis after securing an Australian Postgraduate Award.

Her work also attracted research and development funding from the pig industry.

Ms Kliese said liquid effluent could add the equivalent of 150 kg of nitrogen per hectare to cropping lands.

“It’s certainly beneficial if it can be used nearby. The economics of carting it any distance are not so good,” she said.

Use of piggery waste as it was produced, for direct irrigation, was the best management option, she said, and a number of contractors now offered a paddock spraying service pumping out effluent ponds.

There was little nitrogen benefit from the field application of dried piggery waste, Ms Kliese said.

Media: For more information, contract Anthony Smith (telephone 0409 265 587).