University of Queensland agricultural science first class honours graduate Chelsea Stroppiana has been announced as the winner of the Ag Institute Australia (AIA) National Student Award for 2016.

The prestigious AEV Richardson Memorial National Student Award, sponsored by Peracto, is competed for annually by undergraduate students who have completed an Honours research project as part of an agricultural science (or related) degree.

Each AIA state division selects a finalist to compete nationally with a written submission on the background of their project and a 15-minute presentation on the outcomes to a judging panel.

Ms Stroppiana impressed judges with her honours project into the compounds released from the roots of Australian native species and how they affect the breakdown of nitrogen in soils (nitrification).

The long-term implication of the project is to model synthetic nitrification inhibitors to improve nitrogen use efficiency in cropping systems.

“I'm very honoured to have received this prestigious award - agriculture is an essential industry and it's great to see the AIA and Peracto promoting high-level science in this area,” Ms Stroppiana said.

“I'm encouraged by the quality of the research being undertaken by my peers, and hope that as the next generation, we can continue to innovate and advance agriculture in Australia.”

Ms Stroppiana has commenced a PhD in agricultural science at UQ this year.

The award was presented in Adelaide at AIA’s Innovation Conference.

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