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Scholarship awarded to aspiring researcher

Posted 19 July

“Agriculture is something we all depend on, and by integrating research with education and outreach programmes I hope to contribute to changing how we farm, by improving the sustainability of our food systems we provide not just for ourselves, but for the future.”

Tara O'Neill

Tara O'Neill

Harper Adams University MSc Agro-ecology student Tara O’Neill hopes to ultimately become a researcher involved in the development and implementation of sustainable agricultural systems both at home and abroad.

To help her on her journey, she has been awarded the Clyde Higgs MSc Scholarship to support her with her current Masters studies at the University.

The 24 year-old student from Downpatrick, County Down, said the scholarship is already helping her: “I’m very grateful to receive this scholarship, which has made a significant contribution to my study costs and allows me to dedicate more time to my work.

“I’d like to thank the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust, who fund the scholarship, for their kind support as I embark on my post-graduate study.

“My ambition is to develop a research career in applied ecology and entomology, particularly looking at controlling insect pests without the use of chemicals and looking at methods to make agricultural systems more sustainable.

“As part of my undergraduate degree in zoology, I spent a year working with the Biological Control Unit of Rhodes University, South Africa, where I helped reduce invasive water weeds using insects. I really enjoyed the practical and applied elements of the work and seeing changes that affected not just the environment but the local communities too.

“Agriculture is something we all depend on, and by integrating research with education and outreach programmes I hope to contribute to changing how we farm, by improving the sustainability of our food systems we provide not just for ourselves, but for the future.”

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