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CSL facilities and expertise supports UTAS graduate to win Tasmanian Timber Award

Award Judith Nantongo

UTAS Biological Sciences PhD graduate, Dr Judith Nantongo, won the individual Innovation and Technology Award, which recognised her unique innovation and application of technology relevant to the Tasmanian softwood industry.

Judith’s PhD research addressed bark stripping by mammals as a major problem for conifer forestry worldwide and which, in Australia, is mainly caused by native marsupials. She and her supervisory team Assoc Prof Julianne O’Reilly-Wapstra, Prof Brad Potts and Dr Thomas Rodeman (CSL) explored the extent to which natural variation in the susceptibility of Pinus radiata to bark stripping is under genetic control and is thus amenable to genetic improvement. Judith worked closely with her industry partners and as a result her research has had direct industry impact.

Across her PhD project, Judith delivered key innovations:

  • Identifying that the chemical composition of bark was a key component of plant susceptibility to browsing.
  • Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) models were developed together with research staff at the Central Science Laboratory as tools to measure the chemical levels in bark.
  • Demonstrating significant genetic control of bark stripping susceptibility while showing that breeding could potentially reduce browsing by up to 22%.

Congratulation Judith from all your colleagues at the CSL

Published on: 29 Sep 2021 10:48am