Agboola Jeleel, a graduate from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NBMU), secured €12,000 to help further his research in this area.
“I’m extremely honored and excited to be named this year’s Young Researchers’ Prize winner. Having my research recognized in such a way reassures me that I’m making a proactive and meaningful contribution towards feeding our growing population more sustainably. I’m looking forward to using the prize money to further my aquaculture research as well as dedicating some time to my own personal and professional development.
“My advice to every young scientist is to always cultivate a curious mindset and I’d thoroughly encourage anyone considering applying to next year’s prize to do so. Having also applied in 2019, I’m a prime example of no matter the challenge, you can achieve anything you put your mind to if you work hard and strongly believe in yourself,” commented Jeleel.
Nutreco’s Young Researchers’ Prize challenged PhD students and first- and second-year post-doctorate researchers to put forward ideas that could support sustainable and environmentally conscious farming practices.
Piglet gut health
The second-place cash prize of €8,000 went to Chiara Guidi from the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Her project looked at tackling antimicrobial resistance through the production and use of Chitooligosaccharides, the degraded products of chitosan or chitin prepared by enzymatic or chemical hydrolysis of chitosan. They target pathogens in the gut of weaning piglets and are designed to improve the young animal’s immunity and growth, whilst preventing illness and reducing the need for antibiotics.
“I’m looking to further my research idea through an independent company. Seeing big corporations like Nutreco not only championing young researchers’ work but also being so invested in more sustainable farming is extremely encouraging,” said Guidi.
Coming in third in the research contest was Giulio Giagnoni from Aarhus University in Denmark. He received a cash prize of €5,000 for his project aimed at identifying climate-efficient phenotypes of dairy cows with the goal of modifying their diets to reduce methane emissions.
He said the Nutreco competition is valuable in that it stretches researchers’ thinking and forces them to place their work within a global context, evaluating how to solve real-life challenges in terms of reaching the ultimate goal of more sustainable food production.
The next edition of the Young Researchers’ Prize will be in 2024.