The winners of 11th annual Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) Global Competition were announced during this years ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, and the eight competition finalists were all honored on stage during a special ceremony to help close out the event.
The contest attracted undergraduate and graduate agriscience students from 117 universities in 42 countries around the world. The eight selected finalists represented both their university and their country as they competed for the global titles and fully funded Ph.D/postdoctoral positions and cash prizes.
“Our goal with this program is to inspire and foster the future leaders of the agriscience world,” said Victoria Liu, the AYS Program Director. “This program is helping young scientists to continue their journey into their chosen area of study within the agriscience. We want to offer them mentorship and give them the ability to network with the agricultural leaders of the world. We want these young scientists to be able to share their research with them.”
Listen to Jamie’s full interview with Victoria here:
Interview with Victoria Liu, AYS Program Director
The undergraduate winner was Alonna Danielle Wright, a rising senior at the University of Kentucky in the department of Agricultural Biotechnology. Her research works on a mutant form of the nudivirus, a virus targets the corn earworm, a pest that causes an estimated $2 billion in damage and cost of control each year, and the virus’ potential future as a pest control agent.
Wright was awarded full funding towards a Ph.D at the university of her choosing during the ceremony this week. Her future research include looking into viral vectors and epidemiology, with an special interest in the control of viral outbreaks such as swine flu and bird flu.
“The agricultural problems that you read about are constantly affecting people in small communities across the country, so I knew I from the start that I wanted to be involved in the agricultural industry and to help work in research to solve some of these problems for the future,” said Wright.
Listen to Lizzy’s full interview with Alonna here:
Interview with Alonna Wright, AYS Undergraduate Contest Winner