Summer interns3

Summer interns made their mark

AbacusBio took on four interns over summer, with funding from Sexy Summer Jobs, the Dunedin City Council’s successful summer intern programme. The interns brought vitality to our team, coming from different backgrounds and working on diverse projects.

Jonathan Chuah (left) joined AbacusBio in September 2013 as an intern, while he completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Food Science at the University of Otago. After finishing his honours research project – investigating the effect of age and gender on fatty acid profiles of New Zealand grass-fed lamb – Jonathan began a full-time summer internship. Jonathan worked with AbacusBio consultants Anna Campbell and Grace Johnstone as part of the Grand Alliance and lamb meat quality projects. He reviewed literature associated with market trends, entry legislation, and food labelling regulations. Jonathan also undertook statistical analysis and wrote scientific reports on agricultural systems and meat quality. Originally from Singapore, Jonathan is enthusiastic about the study of food, having completed a Diploma in Applied Food Science and Nutrition back home prior to his study at Otago. Jonathan is continuing to work with AbacusBio, researching the technological aspects of producing value-added meat based products.

Gertje Petersen (second from left) joined AbacusBio over summer 2013/2014. Having recently graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Freie Universität Berlin, she came to Dunedin to explore the opportunities within a pasture-based production system, completely different from the one back home. Gertje grew up in the far north of Germany, where her family farms span approximately 900 hectares, breeding German Angus, Dorper sheep and Norwegian Fjord horses. With both of her parents veterinarians themselves, she realized early on, that the full potential of a veterinary degree lies in its diversity. Her work over summer reflects this sentiment, as she worked on projects ranging from vaccination for reducing methane production, through honey bee breeding, to evaluation of genetic improvement programmes.

Sammy Wong (third from left) joined AbacusBio in November 2013 as an intern software developer, having completed and recently graduated with a Bachelor of Information Technology from Otago Polytechnic. Brought up on a market garden in South Otago, Sammy possesses a strong farming background, having worked on a dairy farm for a year before enrolling in the polytechnic’s BIT course. Sammy’s passion for agriculture has seen her working on the hoofprint application during her time at AbacusBio. Sammy has now been employed full-time by AbacusBio as a software developer, enhancing AbacusBio’s technology expertise. She is currently involved in several DairyNZ projects.

Daniel Murphy (right) joined AbacusBio in November 2013 as an intern software developer, while studying towards a Bachelor of Information Technology at Otago Polytechnic. Intrigued with the growing IT industry, Daniel enrolled in the BIT programme in 2011. At AbacusBio, Daniel worked closely with Mark Teviotdale on the hoofprint application, where he was mainly converting its programming language, updating report appearance, and improving the database to optimise speed. Daniel is currently in his final semester of the BIT programme and plans on heading to Melbourne when he finishes to kick-start his career in the IT industry.