The annual School of Agriculture, Food and Wine Postgraduate Symposium was held on Wednesday 21st September.

The Symposium, organised by the Postgraduate Association for Waite Students (PAWS) and Postgraduate Committee, is a valuable opportunity for HDR students to present their work, as well as build connections across the School and Campus.

This year, sessions ranged from ‘Food, Novel Crops and their Uses’ to ‘Agricultural and Plant Sciences’, ‘Viticulture, Oenology and Entomophagy’, and ‘Agriculture including Crop Protection and AgTech’; with speakers including:

  • Ellen Mary Ward: The Impact of Maternal Diet on Breast Milk Composition
  • Tjing Shaeny Dian Chandra: Examine the impact of consumer in-store food environment in the charitable food sector
  • Lucija Strkalj: Protective effect of Plantago ovate fibre in starch composite gels
  • Sara Jalali: Understanding the Effects of Elicitors to Manipulate the Cannabinoid and Terpene Profiles of Cannabis Sativa
  • Daniel James Clayton-Cuch: Identification, characterization and exploitation of bioactive compounds from plant biomass
  • Will Tucker: The Chemical Factors That Control the Effectiveness of Deep Placed Phosphorus Fertiliser
  • Jacinta Caitlin Dockerill: Developing an ecotoxicologically based fertiliser toxicity index
  • Simon Frederick Michelmore: Molecular and phenotypic characterisation of synthetic auxin herbicide-tolerant pulse germplasm
  • Juhiana Abdul Abbass Hantush Al-Jabiry: Molecular components of grain fill and quality in cereals
  • Merek Kesser: Vineyard Floor Management Systems to Improve Soil Health and Wine Quality
  • Stephanie Angela: Membrane and Ultrafiltration Technology Optimisation for Efficient Wine Processing and Recovery of Valuable Extracts
  • Natalia Soledad Caliani: Defining and Exploiting the Indigenous Microflora of Grapes
  • Emily Hocking: The influence of sulfur compounds on yeast, bacteria and mixed cultures of these in oenology
  • Ishka Bless: Everyday entomophagy: An investigation into pathways for accelerated adoption of edible insects in Western food cultures
  • Yiming Huo: Mitigating smoke taint in wine due to vineyard exposure to bushfire smoke
  • Amena Khatun: Structure/function of oomycete cell wall polysaccharides and their role in plant infection
  • Patrick David Timmins: Measurement and Analysis of Nitrogen Isotopes to Identify Movement of Nitrogen in Soil by Australian Native Acacia Species
  • Enqi Wu: Use of remote sensing to enhance agronomic management to reduce crop variability
  • Luqman Bin Safdar: Using Hyper-spectral Imaging to Develop New High-value Wheat Varieties for Novel Foods
  • Shaikh Yassir Yousouf Jewan: Unmanned Aerial Systems-Based Remote Sensing for Monitoring Growth and Development of Underutilized Crops

Students were also provided with a unique opportunity to hear from Dr Scott Boden, who shared insights into his career and explored topics such as international experience and work-life-balance. 

“The Postgraduate Symposium is a great opportunity for post grads to get out of the lab and present to their colleagues, and also hear about some of the other research that’s happening on campus. We love seeing people from different lab groups connecting in both a professional and social aspect. Dr. Scott Boden’s talk was really compelling, and a refreshing take on what it takes to be successful in science – providing encouragement towards collaboration as well as reminding us to enjoy the path we are on,” said PhD Candidate Jacqui Barsby, on behalf of PAWS. 

Congratulations to all presenters as well as award winners:

  • Sally and Andrew Smith Award: Ishka Bless
  • Eileen Scott Prize: David Nkurunziza (not pictured) and Jacqueline Barsby
  • PAWS People’s Choice Prizes: Daniel Clayton Cuch and Ishka Bless
  • ARC ITTC Innovative Wine Production Award for the Best presentation in Viticulture and Oenology: Stephanie Angela
  • Department of Food Science Award for the Best presentation in Food, Food Innovation and Nutrition: Lucija Strkalj
  • Soil Science Society of Australia (SA Branch) Award for the Best Talk on a Topic on Soil Science or Agronomy: Jacinta Dockerill (not pictured)
  • Australasian Plant Pathology Society (SA Branch) Award for the Best Talk on Plant Pathology: Amena Khatun
  • APPF Award for the Best Talk Involving Technology and Phenomics: Enqi Wu
  • AGT Award for the Best Talk in Plant Sciences: Sara Jalali

A special thanks is also extended to prize sponsors: ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production, University of Adelaide Department of Food Science, Soil Science Society of Australia (SA Branch), Australasian Plant Pathology Society (SA Branch), The Australian Plant Phenomics Facility, and Australian Grain Technologies. 


Prof. Jason Able and Ishka Bless

Stephanie Angela

Prof. Jason Able and Jacqueline Barsby

Amena Khatun and Dr. Cathryn Todd

Prof. Jason Able and Daniel Clayton-Cuch

Prof. Jason Able and Enqi Wu

Prof. Jason Able and Lucija Strkalj

Prof. Jason Able and Sara Jalali

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