Solving the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soil and developing more nutritious food for young children were the two winning topics in this year’s Alltech Young Scientist Program, announced at Alltech’s 28th Annual International Symposium. There was unprecedented interest in the competition this year, with close to 8,000 participants representing the future generation of animal health scientists.

This year’s graduate winner was Qian Wang from China, who is currently a PhD student at the University of California – Davis.

Wang’s research work at UC Davis focused on preventing greenhouse gas emissions (nitrous oxide) from agricultural soil. She won with her paper titled “Effects of Inorganic Versus Organic Copper on Denitrification and Nitrous Oxide Reductase Activity in Soil.”

Wang is not only excited by her win but by the confirmation that her work and field of study are important to the industry. “This award has given me the confidence to continue my work as a young scientist,” said Wang. “I have the ability to make a difference.”

Qian’s journey began many years ago while she was still living in China. On a field trip of a large-scale dairy farm, she noticed the air quality and the surrounding elements were anything but ideal. After her visit she decided she would focus on animal science and air quality to contribute her knowledge of the environmental impacts of animal production.


Wang has now been studying in this area for almost four years.

Upon learning about Alltech’s Young Scientist Competition, she spent months putting her paper together. The paper won her the regional competition and a seat at Alltech’s 28th Annual International Symposium for the global level. After dedicating a month to her presentation, Wang can proudly say she won the graduate award and is the global graduate winner.

Now home with a $10,000 scholarship in hand, Wang plans to use the money to join a few scientific societies and attend some conferences that are of interest to her.

“This year’s winners demonstrated yet again the importance of investing in education and the phenomenal innovation and originality that results from doing so,” said Suniti Mujumdar, Alltech’s manager of education initiatives.

“It is more important now than ever before to recognize and harness the power of these young minds because it is here that solutions for the future will flourish.”

Five regional winners representing Asia, Latin America and North America traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, to present their research before a panel of international judges for the graduate grand prize of $10,000 and the undergraduate grand prize of $5,000.

“This year’s competition brought five outstanding students from around the globe to Lexington to compete. It was an exciting competition and the research papers presented all have the potential to result in significant improvements in animal and human health and welfare,” said Dr. Inge Russell, director of the Alltech Young Scientist Program and professor at Heriot-Watt University, Scotland.

To participate in this program, students wrote a scientific paper that focused on an aspect of animal health and feed technology. The first phase of the program included a competition within each competing country, followed by a zone competition. The winners of each zone moved on to a regional phase and the regional winners competed in the global phase.

The Alltech Young Scientist Program is currently taking applicants for its 2013 competition. Click here to enter.

Alltech’s 28th Annual International Symposium hosted nearly 3,000 delegates from 72 countries in Lexington, Kentucky, May 20-23. PD

—From Alltech news release

Photo courtesy of Alltech.