PhD student wins prestige scholarship

La Trobe university PhD scholar Jane Kelley has just won this year's highly competitive Rural Finance Ian Morton Memorial Scholarship to help complete her postgraduate studies.

Ms Kelley, from Cowwarr in Gippsland is studying the extent of the disease-causing parasite liver fluke to help the dairy industry.

Working at AgiBio on the Melbourne Campus, she has already discovered that the parasite – long thought to be under control by regular drug treatments – has developed resistance in some Victorian dairy herds, reducing their productivity.

(Read more here)

The Rural Finance Ian Morton Memorial Scholarship offers agri-students funding of up to $6,000 per annum for a maximum two-year period while completing postgraduate studies. Since 1992, the Rural Finance Scholarship program has committed over $2.5M to students who strive to be of value to Victorian agriculture and is recognised as a leading scholarship program supporting the development of Victorian youth.

Ms Kelley was also a winner last year in the national Science and Innovation Awards for Young People, from the Department of Agriculture and Dairy Australia.

Her PhD project uses a new, more accurate diagnostic technique to simplify on-farm screening for liver fluke.

In July Jane was an invited speaker on drug resistance and prevalence of liver fluke infection in dairy cattle at the annual science week conference of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists' Cattle Chapter.  

Her audience included Victoria's Chief Veterinary Officer and leading cattle veterinarians.

Research supervisor, AgriBio Professor of Animal Sciences, Terry Spithill, said several veterinarians have since contacted her for advice about parasite infections in cattle.

'So her PhD studies are having impact already,' Professor Spithill said.

Watch Jane's video bio here.

Media contact

Jane Kelley: 0439 014 222 / 9032 7459

Image: Jane Kelley at work in the lab.