A childhood fascination with nature, interest in agriculture and a desire to help people in the developing world has set one Charles Sturt University (CSU) student on the path to a research career.
CSU Bachelor of Science (Honours) student Mr Ramon Javier Atayde has been awarded a Graham Centre scholarship for his study into one of the factors that may influence the flowering time of wheat.
“I’m particularly interested in the effects of cold temperature during seed development on the flowering time of progeny in wheat,” Mr Atayde said.
“This has implications for grain growers who try to manipulate sowing so that wheat flowers at the optimum time for grain formation, maximising yields.”
Mr Atayde’s research is supervised by CSU lecturer Dr Sergio Moroni, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) crop physiologist Dr Felicity Harris and CSIRO research group leader Dr Ben Trevaskis.
“I have found my honours to be challenging but rewarding, and have enjoyed the process,” Mr Atayde said.
“Often you forget how much effort goes on behind the scenes for research, and I feel like I have developed a new found appreciation for students that have completed higher study and researchers, particularly within agriculture.
“I have found the learning curve for Honours to be quite steep in some areas, which goes to show how much there is still to learn. I look forward to the challenges the rest of my Honours project will present and the discoveries I hope to make in my research.
“I would like to thank the Graham Centre, my supervisors, and the staff at CSIRO, the Sutherland labs, viticulture centre and NALSH for their ongoing assistance and support.”
Mr Atayde grew up in the Philippines before moving with his family to Australia in 2001.
“As the third child of seven, I was the nerd of the family, constantly reading about and collecting insects, rocks, plants, fish- anything that could fit in a container and be smuggled into the house.
“I became interested in a career in agriculture during high school, following a trip to the Philippines. It was at this point that I developed a desire to enter a profession which would directly impact and benefit other people, particularly those from disadvantaged communities or third world countries,” Mr Atayde concluded.