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“I’m focusing on livestock production economy. I’m developing a bioeconomy model that includes genetic, phenotypic (body growth) and rearing cost estimation of beef cattle crossbreeds in Peninsular Malaysia. The bioeconomy model will be one of the bases to estimate and forecast the monetary value of crossbred beef cattle that possess unique growth traits as a result of the crossbreeding programme. It will benefit farmers, researchers and policymakers in decision making, particularly in beef cattle farming, towards sustainable and precision agricultural productivity. Local universities have huge research potential. Many areas can be explored to help promote the country’s interest and competitiveness. But due to the current economic situation, many will face difficulties in doing research.”

Universiti Putra Malaysia PhD in Animal Production Economy candidate Ummi Noorhakimah Abdullah

“My research is on animal modeling where a biological event is simulated using computer modelling. I’m studying dairy production and I’ll be modeling cattle performance in a tropical environment to predict the interaction between the feed given, the environment and the amount of milk we can expect. Modelling is important because it is a predictive tool that can guide farmers in making important decisions. With increasing population, urbanisation and rising income among the middle class, demand for dairy products is expected to increase with consumption expected to almost double by 2050. Modelling allows efficient use of our resources to ensure sustainable farming. Further studies in this field can also predict the amount of greenhouse gases produced so we can minimise the environmental impact. We have to work with limited resources but I’m fortunate that my research doesn’t require much money.”

Universiti Putra Malaysia Masters in Animal Nutrition student Predith Michael

“My interest is in behavioural economics and circular economy. Humans consume natural resources endlessly and discharge pollutants uncontrollably, making greenhouse effect, global warming and environmental pollution urgent issues. Circular economy could reduce resource consumption from upstream to downstream and reduce pollution emissions. Countries in Europe and the US have begun to implement circular economies which have seen encouraging results. Countries in China have steadily improved their academia, with better paper quality and capital investment. Research wise, Malaysia has plenty of room for improvement in the areas of scientific research. The lack of funding is a challenge.”

Universiti Sains Malaysia Masters in Business Administration student Ang Wei Zhi

“It is tough to do research when there’s a shortfall in funding but it’s not impossible. Good networking and collaborations helps in expanding one’s capability and ability in producing good research. I’m focusing on the synthesis of low-cost and lead-free perovskite for photonic application. Perovskites are popular as a light absorber and are mainly used for solar cells. My team and I would like to engineer or modify the properties of the materials for near infrared application especially in fibre lasers. In Malaysia, industries still rely on solid state laser or free space laser where the systems are more complicated. So we are planning to build a user friendly all-fibrerised laser system using low-cost materials.”

Universiti Putra Malaysia PhD in Photonic Engineering candidate Norita Mohd Yusoff

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