A YOUNG SA scientist has taken her passion for pig research and gathering a few ideas from people - across the globe and channeled it into gaining one of the industry's prestigious awards.
SARDI pig researcher at the University of Adelaide Tanya Nowland received the Batterham Memorial award at the 2021 Biennial Australasian Pig Science Conference held recently in Brisbane.
It offers recognition from the conference organising committee on behalf of the Australian pig science/research community and is the ultimate recognition a young scientist can receive from their peers.
Dr Tanya Nowland provided an outline to the judging panel of her previous achievements and contributions to the Australian pork industry, to be eligible for the award.
"The requirement was to be an early-career scientist and in my application, I focussed on the ways I had specifically impacted the industry," she said.
As a part of her application, Dr Nowland also had to outline a personal development plan.
"I won $5000 to put toward a personal development venture," she said.
Dr Nowland put forward a plan to attend a conference in Netherlands in May next year to gain an opportunity to mingle with other scientists.
"I have held a long-term interest in researching gastrointestinal tract microbiota in pigs and the conference will address a lot of similar topics - so professionally and personally, it will be a fantastic opportunity," she said.
"The conference will provide greater opportunities to collaborate with other scientists that work in different areas - it will be interesting to hear about how piggeries are operated internationally."
Dr Nowland is eager to collaborate with other scientists and dig into further research about piglet health and how it related to production outcomes in pigs.
"Piglet survival is an area I want to research more. There is a lot of research into human gut health and its effect on humans so I want to learn more about it in pigs," she said.
Dr Nowland hoped to attend the conference in 2022, saying "it was achievable", despite potential international border restrictions.
"Having the ability to learn more from other experts is crucial for personal development and Scandinavia are at the forefront of the latest technology in piggeries," she said.
"The Netherlands have a reputation of producing pigs well and large litter sizes - I hope to do an on-farm visit too and see how commercial operations are achieving these good results.
"It looks like a pretty cool system in that region."
Recently, Dr Nowland finished her PhD that documented a bunch of research about gut microbiota development in pigs and focus on ways to alter and manipulate that to improve piglet health.
She was also awarded a Science Innovation Award that recognises young people in agriculture and and focused on faecal microbiota transplantation.
"We did not solve any big things but we got a lot of great data from the research," Dr Nowland said.
AFTER commending the pork industry for its supportive nature of young scientists, an aspiring researcher found not just the confidence to throw her hat in the ring for a prestigious award but to also generate innovative ways to further the industry through targeted research.
Dr Tanya Nowland gained another notch to her belt this year after receiving the Batterham Memorial award.
The young researcher who grew up on a mango farm in the Northern Territory, encouraged others to apply for the awards, to gain further personal development and experience in the sector, both in SA and internationally.
"It really opens up collaboration opportunities and exposure - it is the exposure to a wider industry that provides the most benefit," Dr Nowland said.
"It opens up plenty of collaboration opportunities."
Dr Nowland completed an undergraduate degree in Animal Science at the University of Adelaide's Roseworthy campus.
She completed her undergraduate degree in Animal Science at Roseworthy and during the second year of that qualification, Dr Nowland was awarded an undergraduate industry placement award from Australian Pork Limited.
"It enabled me to complete a placement on a 300-sow piggery on the Yorke Peninsula to experience work routines associated with commercial pig production," she said.
After completing an undergraduate degree, Dr Nowland completed a pig-focused honours program and she awarded the Ronald J Lienert Memorial Scholarship.
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