The Cybec Foundation scholarship allowed Jemima to continue her important research.
The Cybec Foundation was established in 2002 by Roger and Patricia Riordan with the aim of encouraging academic excellence and caring for the environment. Since that time, the Foundation has awarded scholarships to over 300 students in many different fields of study.
The most recent scholarship recipient is Master of Veterinary Science student, Jemima Amery-Gale. She’s investigating pathogens of birds that can be transmitted to people or other animals at Healesville Sanctuary. “My residency is half clinical and half research, so I spend time out at Healesville working as a vet within the Australian Wildlife Health Centre and collecting samples,” she said. “Then I come back to the lab at Parkville and do the testing.”
Jemima was awarded the Cybec Foundation funding earlier in the year based on her outstanding academic results and past research. “I was so relieved when I found out,” she said. “My research is very expensive because its surveillance work so there are large numbers of samples to be tested and many pathogens to consider,” she said.
“Without the scholarship it would have been necessary for me to downscale my research and spend time trying to apply for other funding. The lab might have been able to cover some of the costs, but not all of it. I feel so lucky to be in the position I’m in at the moment.”
Jemima’s passion lies in biodiversity conservation. “I’m driven by the tragedy of species extinction. It makes me really sad to think we’ve lost species that we can never get back again. Through my current research, I’m gathering the skills to contribute to this field in the future.
“I’m already one year into my Masters and it’s disappearing quickly,” Jemima said. “The best part is that little moment when you’ve put a lot of work into something and you get to find out the results of the tests you’ve been doing – that’s always a bit of a thrill.”
Looking towards the future, it’s likely that Jemima will end up doing a PhD. “I’d really like to work on a humane feral cat control, because they’re the number one threatening process to mammal biodiversity in Australia. I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do it yet, but I’m trying to plan something in this area for when I complete my Masters.
“I find research is the best way to make a long-term impact. I’m very grateful to the Cybec Foundation for making my research project possible.”