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Students Descend Upon Kentucky for Final Round in Alltech Young Scientist Competition

(From left) Dr. Inge Russell, director of the Alltech Young Scientist Competition, presents awards to undergraduate winner Amanda Pesqueria for her study on compounds involved in fescue toxicosis syndrome in cows through the use of an advanced testing system and graduate winner Nimesha Fernando for her examination of how high levels of CO2 in the environment affect the growth of grain, with Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech vice president, during the Closing Session of the 29th Alltech Annual International Symposium.

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – Alltech has named the eight finalists to vie for the 2014 Alltech Young Scientist undergraduate and graduate titles, awards bestowed on the two champions of the global competition that rewards scientific innovation through research. 

Registrants for the annual competition were asked to join Alltech in the pursuit of natural solutions to animal health, plant technology, environmental sciences and biotechnology-related challenges. Out of more than 8,500 registrations for the competition, these eight students received the top prize in the undergraduate or graduate division in their region and an all expense paid trip to compete in the finals:

Undergraduate Finalists:

  • Araceli Antonieta Olivares Salas, Universidad Mayor de Chile, Chile
  • Norhaslinda Syarial, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia
  • Gillian Johnson, University of Limerick, Ireland
  • Sarah Childers, University of Tennessee, United States

Graduate Finalists:

  • Reda Saleh Mohamed Ibrahim, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
  • Lei Wang, West Virginia University, United States
  • Cristiano Bortoluzzi, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Humaira Sultana, University of Melbourne, Australia

The eight recipients will travel to Lexington, Ky., to the Alltech Young Scientist Competition finals during the “What If?” 30th Annual Alltech International Symposium in Lexington, Ky., USA, from May 18-21. In addition to a trophy and an iPad, the winning graduate student will receive a $10,000 USD scholarship prize and the winning undergraduate student will receive a $5,000 USD scholarship prize.

“Each year we are astonished by the outstanding scientific intellect that is submitted through the Alltech Young Scientist Competition and this year is no exception,” said Dr. Inge Russell, director of the Alltech Young Scientist Program. “From every corner of the globe, we received quality research from students who are avid about further investigating the field of science. We congratulate these winners for rising to the challenge and demonstrating their potential as future scientific industry leaders.”

“At Alltech, we encourage students to push the traditional boundaries and to contemplate ‘What If?’ as they tackle today’s greatest challenges,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “Through the Alltech Young Scientists Competition, we have discovered some of the best and brightest minds from colleges and universities around the world and have given them the chance to further explore scientific theories and hypotheses for finding solutions that will ultimately benefit the health and performance of plants, animals and people.”

Registration and paper submission for the 2014-2015 Alltech Young Scientist Competition is available online now and will close Dec. 31, 2014. Scientific papers submitted for the Alltech Young Scientist  Competition may cover topics including veterinary science, animal nutrition, food and feed technology, sustainability, agricultural management, marketing, environmental science and economics. For more information about the Alltech Young Scientist Awards, visit

Standard registration for Alltech’s 30th Annual International Symposium is open now and available at a price of $850. Two paid registrations from a single company or organization will receive a third registration free of charge. Delegates who are members of ARPAS and AAVSB can also earn CEUs.

Attendees are encouraged to register early as space is limited. Of the nearly 3,000 international delegates who attended the 2013 Alltech International Symposium, 96 percent indicated that they plan to attend again.

For more information, or to request an invitation, contact a local Alltech representative, visit or email