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NT researcher wins Meat & Livestock Australia funding

[ 11/03/2011 ]

A Northern Territory Government researcher from the Department of Resources Berrimah Veterinary Laboratory has gained one of five Meat and Livestock Australia places as a mentor for its Postdoctoral Fellows Program.

Principal Veterinary Virologist Dr Lorna Melville won the position from 61 high quality applicants from around Australia. The program involves Dr Melville acting as a mentor for postdoctoral research with Meat and Livestock Australia funding a three-year fellowship position.

The research to be undertaken will involve investigation of arboviruses in livestock in northern Australia, with particular emphasis on bovine ephemeral fever virus (BEFV). There were major epidemics of BEFV in cattle in eastern and southern Australia in 1956, 1968, 1975, 2008 and 2010 following initial outbreaks in northern Australia.

Dr Melville said while the virus was common in young animals in the Territory, it had a far greater impact in the south where the disease appeared less frequently. “The impact of infection on older, heavier and more productive animals can be substantial,” she said. “During the past two years, severe and extensive outbreaks in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria have been associated with unusually high mortality rates.

“The impact on production has been estimated at more than $140 million a year.”

Applications for the fellowship position will be called shortly.

Eds please note: Dr Melville will NOT be available Tues 15/3 or Wed 16/3