A young Iranian postgraduate student studying at New Zealand’s Massey University has won the Poultry CRC Postgraduate Presentation Award at the Australian Poultry Science Symposium in Sydney earlier this month. What is remarkable about Reza Abdollahi’s achievement is that it was only the second time he had presented in English.
Reza’s presentation, “Influence of pelleting temperature on the performance and nutrient utilisation of broiler starters”, earned him a $500 prize from the Poultry CRC.
“Before this conference,” said Reza, “the 11th of February was just another day for me, but now it is one of those days I will never forget.”
“Not only was I awarded the best postgrad student presentation… a big surprise for me on my first visit to Australia, it was only my second presentation in English and the first one outside New Zealand, as all of my presentations in my country were in Farsi (Iran’s official language).”
“But what makes this day more special for me is that my wife, Faegheh Zaefarian, was awarded her PhD thesis on the same day in Iran. She was the first female PhD student and also the first female PhD graduate in the poultry nutrition field in Iran. Hopefully she is going to join me here in NZ on the 28th February.”
And it doesn’t end there. The 11th of February was also Reza’s supervisor’s (Professor Ravi Ravindran) birthday.
“I have always been proud of being his student and he is the person who provided me the opportunity to come to Australia… I think now you’ll agree that I should not forget this day.”
“The prize does not only belong to me… it belongs to all the people who have been helping me since I started my study at Massey University, especially my supervisors and my friends at the Massey University poultry research unit. We are going to have a barbeque and maybe Iranian kebabs at the poultry unit next week.”
“I am going to give all the money to my wife when she gets to New Zealand and tell her to buy for herself whatever she likes as her graduation gift. But I am pretty sure she will spend most of the money to buy stuff for me, not for herself. Good trick!”
The CRC wishes Reza all the best for the future and no doubt we’ll be seeing more from this talented young scientist in the years to come.