Education and Training

A key part of APRIL’s Strategic Plan is education and training, to assist with human capacity building for the Australasian pork industry. APRIL will continue to support postgraduate and undergraduate activities as well as the Industry Placement Program.

When education-related funding opportunities are available, details will be available on our Education and Training Opportunities page.

Details of scholarship opportunities will be available on our Scholarship Opportunities page.

All applications for education and training support through APRIL are assessed by the Education Advisory Committee. This comprises Professor Frank Dunshea (Chair; The University of Melbourne), Dr Rebecca Athorn (Australian Pork Limited), Dr Tony Peacock (APRIL Chair), Professor Eugeni Roura (The University of Queensland), Dr Stuart Wilkinson (FeedWorks), and Professor John Pluske (APRIL CEO/Chief Scientist).

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee The University of Queensland

June 2022: APRIL is pleased to announce that Dr Maximiliano Müller has commenced an Industry Placement Program with The University of Queensland.

Dr. Maximiliano Müller has recently joined the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation Research Institute at The University of Queensland in the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He has a Bachelor’s degree (with an Honours equivalent) in Veterinary Science from the Universidad de Chile, and a PhD in Pig Nutrition from The University of Queensland. The main aim of his postgraduate studies was to test the effect of proteinogenic amino acids on appetite regulatory mechanisms and ultimately on feed intake and growth in pigs.

Maximiliano is currently participating in two APRIL-funded projects addressing (via nutritional interventions) industry problems related to back fat deposition and maintenance of pork quality in finishing pigs and the impact of heat stress in lactating sows. In addition, Maximiliano is involved in an ARC-Linkage project which aims at developing nutritional strategies (through maternal conditioning) that will boost the appetite and digestive capacity of piglets early in life to reduce the reliance on in-feed antimicrobials.

Via the recently awarded Industry Placement Program, Maximiliano will assist in developing a research program in the field of feed formulation, feed technology and feed analysis where a significant gap of expertise has been identified by the pork industry. Partners in Max’s Industry Placement Program are SunPork, Ridley and AusScan Online (through APRIL).

Dr Maximiliano Müller

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at Apiam Animal Health (Portec Veterinary Services)

May 2022: APRIL is pleased to announce that Dr Nandi Van Wky has recently commenced an Industry Placement Program with Apiam Animal Health, at Portec Veterinary Services, Western Australia.

Nandi graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and also has an Honours degree in Animal Science from the same university. Nandi has worked in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia as a mixed practice veterinarian, before transitioning into pig and poultry practice.

Nandi is currently assisting in service delivery to producers and education of DVM students in intensive industries at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

Dr Nandi Van Wky

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at Rivalea

APRIL IPP Dr. Maria Jorquera- Chavez, Rivalea, New South Wales

March 2021: APRIL is pleased to announce that Dr Maria Jorquera-Chavez has commenced her Industry Placement Program with Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd. in Corowa, New South Wales.

Dr. Maria Jorquera-Chavez has recently joined Rivalea (Australia) Pty Ltd. in the position of Research Scientist. She has a degree in Veterinary Science, a Master of Animal Sciences, and recently completed her PhD with The University of Melbourne in the use of computer vision techniques for monitoring health and early detection of illness in grower-finisher pigs.

Dr. Jorquera-Chavez will assist in developing and implementing research programs, particularly in the areas of new technology, health and welfare. Maria is participating in an APRIL-funded project addressing the implementation of thermal imagery to predict lactation performance and monitor the health status of sows.

Dr. Jorquera-Chavez will also coordinate future experiments as principal investigator addressing the use of new technologies and management practices to monitor and improve the health and welfare of pigs.

New APRIL Industry Placement Program awardee starts at the SunPork Group

August 2020: APRIL is pleased to announce that Lauren Staveley has commenced her Industry Placement Program with the SunPork Group in South Australia.

a young woman dressed in a dark blue coverall holding a piglet on a farm
IPP awardee Lauren Staveley

Lauren began her interactions with the pork industry in her second year of undergraduate Animal Science studies at The University of Adelaide through the Pork CRC student placement program, where she was placed at the McMahons McPiggery in Lameroo. After a brief detour into sheep parasitology (Honours project), Lauren worked as a Technical Officer at The University of Adelaide for Dr Will van Wettere, spending most of her time on sow reproduction and welfare projects. This eventually led to Lauren commencing a PhD focussed on the potential use of a suite of early (pre-weaning) indicators to aid in the selection of replacement gilts, titled Conception to culling – effective management of the gilt to optimise reproduction and longevity. The main aim of her postgraduate studies is to reduce the high replacement rate of sows in Australian breeder herds. Lauren plans to submit her PhD thesis within the next 6 months.

Lauren currently works for the SunPork Group as a production Management Trainee based at a 5,000 sow breeder farm. Lauren has already been exposed to many aspects and production stages of the business; however, Lauren said that the  APRIL Industry Placement Program awardwill allow her to gain more in-depth knowledge of pork production whilst facilitating her involvement in reproduction and welfare experiments. The Industry Placement Program will provide Lauren with the opportunity to question and evaluate current production practices, and she looks forward to developing a greater understanding of pork production and research.