ILRI researcher Tarni Cooper with children from a livestock-keeping household in Morogoro, Tanzania

Tarni Cooper with children from a livestock-keeping household in Morogoro, Tanzania (photo credit: ILRI/Tarni Cooper).

We are pleased to congratulate Tarni Cooper, a veterinary scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), on being named as one of five recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Young Alumni awards of the University of Queensland (UQ). The award will be presented at a ceremony scheduled for 2 October 2014.

The award recognises outstanding alumni aged 35 years or younger whose early accomplishments inspire and provide leadership to students and alumni. She was a UQ valedictorian in 2010 when she was awarded her Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree with honours and also won the Dr John Gibb Biosecurity Memorial Prize that year.

In 2013, Cooper worked with ILRI’s Food Safety and Zoonoses program as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development and was part of a research team that worked in rural Tanzania on a project to assess the presence of a range of potential pathogens in smallholder dairy cattle. She studied the use of various communication approaches to obtain informed consent during research.

An enumerator uses a poster to obtain informed consent for research in Morogoro, Tanzania

An enumerator uses a poster to obtain informed consent for research in Morogoro, Tanzania (photo credit: ILRI/Tarni Cooper).

Livestock keepers in Morogoro, Tanzania examine a poster used to obtain informed consent for research

Livestock keepers in Morogoro, Tanzania examine a poster used to obtain informed consent for research (photo credit: ILRI/Tarni Cooper).

Previously, she spent time in Vietnam during a five-year project, working with smallholder pig farmers and using participatory video as an innovative communication approach to help the farmers learn from each other and improve their pig production methods. Earlier this year she returned to Vietnam and used participatory photography to study the long-term impact of the film.

Cooper is currently collaborating with ILRI on a Vietnam-based project on livestock competitiveness and food safety, as well as serving on the Institutional Research Ethics Committee. Her next career goal is to undertake a PhD in communication for social change.