Bethany Finger receives the Dairy Australia Award

Working with juvenile in vitro embryo (JIVET) production, Bethany’s research could help maximise the offspring from an individual cow over her lifetime.

Bethany Finger from the School of Biosciences at the University of Melbourne

The Dairy Australia Award acknowledges the individuals, research and development in the dairy industry. It is a part of the Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry that recognises innovative scientific projects that will contribute to the ongoing success and sustainability of Australia's agricultural industries.

“We know biologically that all females are born with all their eggs for their life,” explains Bethany. “We’re hoping to adjust the normal IVF protocol and simulation to suit a juvenile cow and hopefully improve the rates [of embryo production].”

The awards will be presented at the ABARES Outlook 2019 conference dinner on Tuesday 5 March.

Bethany studied biology and genetics at the University of Melbourne, which led her to a career in embryology. She is currently a technical officer in reproductive biology. Having grown up on an orchard with sheep and cattle, Bethany never planned to go into agriculture but appreciates the direct application of her research.

“I sort of ended up back where I came from” she laughs.

“If it works, it will work really quickly and well,” she explains. “So I am really excited to develop the protocol that will be commercially viable and benefit people.”

Anne Watt, from the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, has also received the Australian Pork Ltd Award from the 2019 Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. She will also be presented her award at the ABARES Outlook conference in March.