May 24, 2013 | By: Carl Nathe

 A student who originally hails from Brazil and  came to the University of Kentucky to complete her undergraduate studies is one of two winners of the 2013 Alltech Young Scientist award. Undergraduate Amanda Pesqueira, majoring in animal sciences in the UK College of Agriculture, was honored for demonstrating an exceptional awareness of science and its role in shaping the future of agriculture. 

Pesqueria and fellow award recipient Nimesha Fernando, a graduate student at the University of Melbourne in Australia, were recognized in front of a crowd of more than 2,300 during the closing session of Alltech’s 29th International Symposium earlier this week.
More than 8,000 students from across the globe registered for the competition. Following a regional evaluation process in early 2013, eight finalists, including UK College of Ag graduate student Sara Tanner, were invited to travel to Lexington to deliver their research findings before a panel of judges. The undergraduate and graduate winners received $5,000 and $10,000 respectively.
Pesqueria, who previously attended the University of Maringa in Brazil, presented her research titled, “Contractile Response of the Different Ergot Alkaloids in Bovine Cranial Branch of the Lateral Saphenous Vein In Vitro.”  Her work examines the compounds involved with fescue toxicosis syndrome in cows through the use of an advanced testing system. Pesqueria plans to pursue a graduate degree in animal sciences.
“The theme of this year’s symposium was GLIMPSE – looking into the future and imagining the possibilities of what we can achieve together. But we need to cultivate curiosity in our young people to make progress toward these achievements,” said Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech.  “Our young scientists are asking the question, ‘Why not?’ It’s their sense of curiosity that will lead us to answers to reduce our carbon footprint, to feed our animals more efficiently and to improve the quality of human life through nutrition.”
“This year, the Alltech Young Scientist finalists amazed our panel of judges with brilliant insights into the future of agriculture, but also with their personal dedication to advancement through research,” said Inge Russell, director of the Alltech Young Scientist Competition. “Our winners’ stories of perseverance and sacrifice are a true testament to their passion for science.”
For more information about registering for the next Alltech Young Scientist Competition, please visit

Carl Nathe, 859-257-3200; Elizabeth Adams, 859-881-2243

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