SRUC Postgraduate Research Continues to Break New Ground

Published Wednesday, 25th March 2015 in Research news

Postgrad conference

Scotland’s Rural College’s annual postgraduate conference saw final year researcher Sarah Ison win the top prize and she will go on to represent SRUC at an inter research institute competition.

A record number of postgraduate students took part in the conference last week which saw first and final year students give oral presentations on their projects, and second year students display their project posters throughout the two days.  Although day two was interrupted by the Solar Eclipse, it was most definitely not overshadowed!

The formal presentations were ten minute talks followed by questions from the audience. Sarah Ison’s winning presentation was on her research addressing pain at parturition in pigs - assessing the pain felt by pigs, understanding vet and farmer attitudes and behaviours; and exploring the benefits of NSAID use.

Sokratis Ptochos will represent SRUC in the Scotia Agricultural Club postgraduate student competition after he was awarded second prize for his presentation on his research into the impact of environmental change, particularly heat waves, on parasites and sheep responses to parasitism.

The poster display prepared by second year students attracted a lot of interest with topics ranging from new approaches to leaf and bud nematode control in ornamental plants, through to the impact of social stress on maternal behaviour in sheep, and the modelling of sustainable intensification in Brazilian agriculture.

The top scientific poster prize was awarded to Simon Gibson-Poole for his well delivered poster exploring the uses of UAVs as a research tool and in developing consumer grade cameras to capture data beyond the visible light spectrum.

Prof Geoff Simm, SRUC Vice Principal Research commented:

“The annual conference is the highlight of our postgraduate calendar in SRUC. It is always inspiring to see and hear the quality and range of research our students are doing, and its relevance to the pressing global issues of food and environmental security.

"Our research postgraduate students usually work as integral members of our research teams, and they made a major contribution to our recent success in the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Our plan is to significantly increase numbers of postgraduate students in the next few years, to ensure this continuing contribution to our research, and to help meet the growing need for researchers who can contribute both to scientific excellence and impact.”

For more details on postgraduate research degrees and more information on current projects within the various research groups visit this website.

Photograph: L-R Sokratis Ptochos, Prof Geoff Simm, Simon Gibson-Poole, and Sarah Ison.

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