Student research earns Flinders praise

Best Student Research Paper Awards recipient Lucinda Bell (middle) with Fletcher, Addison and Archer (l-r)

Fossil deposits in the Naracoorte Caves and parental involvement in junior football are among the winning research themes of Flinders University’s 2013 Best Student Research Paper Awards.

Higher degree research students Amy Macken (School of Biological Sciences), Daniel Tune (School of Chemical and Physical Sciences), Leanne Morgan (School of the Environment), Rachel Hiller (School of Psychology), Sarah John (School of International Studies), Carolyn Petersons (School of Medicine), Lucinda Bell (School of Medicine), Pamela Graham (School of Humanities) and Sam Elliott (School of Education) have each received a cash prize of $1000 for their research papers, with an official awards ceremony to be held next month.

Announced earlier this week by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), the annual initiative aims to recognise, reward and promote excellence in student research across Flinders University.

Ms Bell, a PhD candidate in Nutrition and Dietetics, received the award for her research examining the dietary patterns of Australian toddlers, including the influence of socio-demographic factors on toddlers’ eating behaviour.

“In short, I examined toddlers’ dietary patterns to determine what toddlers are eating in terms of their overall pattern of intake of different foods,” Ms Bell said.

“I then looked at the factors associated with both healthy and unhealthy eating patterns, such as maternal age and education and socio-economic background, before examining the potential impact of these dietary patterns on body fat levels,” she said.

Ms Bell said the awards encouraged students to strive for excellence in research.

“As a PhD candidate, it’s nice to be recognised for our hard work and published research.”

Flinders Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor David Day, congratulated all nominees for their contribution to real-world research.

“Each year we are faced with the difficult decision of selecting the most outstanding research papers from an already high benchmark,” Professor Day said.

“All nominees have presented exceptional standards of work, and their research will no doubt make a meaningful contribution to knowledge on both a local and global scale,” he said.

“On behalf of the University, I congratulate all recipients and wish them the very best for their future pursuits.”

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