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BoP Student Wins Award for Facial Eczma Research

From the Royal Society of New Zealand

For immediate release: 10 October 2008

Bay of Plenty Student wins Major International Award for Facial Eczema Research

Katikati student Pippa Grierson has won a major award at an international competition for young scientists in Europe, for her research project into facial eczema in livestock.

Pippa was selected by the Royal Society of New Zealand to participate at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS), Copenhagen, where she won the International Cooperation Award for the best project from a guest country. The award included 5000 euros ($11,000NZD) in prize money.

EUCYS was attended by 130 students aged 16 -19 from 39 countries. It is a prestigious competition for all EU countries and this year was hosted by the Danish Government.

Pippa, a Year 12 student at Katikati College, has been researching whether agricultural lime products affect the incidence of facial eczema spores on farms. Facial eczema is caused by animals ingesting toxic fungal spores growing in the dead litter layer of pasture. Her results show that the use of lime appears to be an effective control mechanism for facial eczema spores, with residual effects lasting up to two years. Pippa, who lives on a farm, is passionate about this particular piece of research and intends to study it further.

Pippa said that attending EUCYS was an absolutely awesome experience and she has made friends with so many other likeminded students who she wants to keep in touch with in the future. “I was blown away at winning the International Cooperation Award which was presented to me at the Grand Award Ceremony, hosted by HRH Prince Joachien, the patron of the EUCYS at one of Copenhagen’s most famous buildings, ‘The Circus’,” she said.

During her week in Copenhagen she showcased her work at a public exhibition, visited the many sights of Copenhagen, including the National Museum of Denmark, and enjoyed learning about another culture.


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