As a young boy, living in South Africa with its magnificent wild life, I always wanted to become a vet to be able to make animals and science my day to day life. I found it intriguing as to know, or rather to catch a glimpse of how our Creator put life together and to see this in nature all around us. I loved to go to wildlife parks such as the Kruger National Park on game drives and to be amazed. Back home our family always kept a wide range of pets, from cats and dogs to geese, ducks, a crow to tortoises, chameleons, hedgehogs, fish and a monkey. This was just my start in loving animals and biology.
In school, the subjects of science and biology opened this world even further for me and I started to learn the difference between a maize plant's growth and that of a bean. Studying small concepts of biology really kick-started my thoughts of becoming involved in the natural sciences in some way. Before I knew it, I was spending my holidays at a vet practice close to home, observing science in action.
Finishing school, I applied at the University of Pretoria and got in, and as my first two years of studying went on, I was introduced to the field of Animal Science! This is a very diverse and interesting field of study and could enable us to provide food for a starving Africa and also prevent malnutrition and disease. I soon realized that Animal Science was the field of study that I had been looking for all along, a field that can mean so much to my beloved continent.
During my final year of study, we had a subject called “research methodology” in which we had to choose a topic that interested us. I chose my topic in the area of pig production, as it has limitless potential. After a year of research on this topic, I wrote a literature review on it. During the course of the year, our Professor informed us about the Alltech Young Scientist competition and I was excited from day one to compete in it.
In March I got an e-mail from Alltech congratulating me and telling me that I was the winner of the undergraduate Europe/Africa/Mid-East region and so the excitement exploded. I realized that I have a great opportunity now to represent Africa at a global level, discussing the future and new possibilities.
In the African way: "Eish I am so happy!"
- JD Mostert
Alltech Young Scientist Featured Posts
This is a featured post from an Alltech Young Scientist Finalist who will be traveling to Symposium in May to present their work. To learn more about the Alltech Young Scientist Competition, please visit the AYS page.