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Sarah Dawes

Bachelor of Food and Agribusiness student
Sarah started her research project as an embedded honours component of her degree. She is researching the survival and growth of Listeria monocytogenes on rockmelons.
Photo of Sarah Dawes in lecture room

My favourite subjects

My favourite unit at the moment is horticulture (HORT3005). It covers topics relating to the production of high-quality food, the maintenance of post-harvest quality, and the physiological principles that underlie commercial success of horticultural enterprises.

Learning about the science behind the quality, flavour, and growth of food products, really makes you appreciate the importance of science to society; as an understanding in this field is essential for the successful and productive production of food globally.      

I am, however, also excited to start my research project this year (as an embedded honours component of the degree). I am studying the survival and growth of Listeria monocytogenes on whole rockmelons, which is  very topical after the recent outbreak. I hope my results will contribute to a more thorough understanding of the growth kinetics of this potentially deadly bacteria, and thus contribute to preventing listeriosis outbreaks in the future. 

My experience

I have been amazed at the opportunities that have come from doing my degree. At the beginning of this year, I was fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks in Italy, participating in a Food and Health Winter School. This was an incredible experience studying overseas, and learning about a topic area I love!

During last year, it was also a compulsory component of the course to participate in an eleven-week internship. I was the Food Safety and Quality Assurance Intern at Harris Farm Markets’ head office. This was a great opportunity to develop industry experience, gain an insight into life after university, and apply some of the theory we have learnt throughout our three years of study. I was lucky to be given the chance to continue on with the company, so I am still working there this year.

The faculty has also hosted some great networking events, enabling us to meet with industry representatives and learn about their career progressions.

I will also never forget the animal production systems unit where we had animal practicals at Camden. I would have never have thought I would do a subject that involved handling animals and performing vet-like skills. It was so much fun!       

The faculty has also hosted some great networking events, enabling us to meet with industry representatives and learn about their career progressions.

My future

My plan at the moment is to continue working in the food industry and to stay on at Harris Farm. I would like to explore different areas of the business, so I can gain a full understanding of the food supply chain. I am unsure if I will do further study after my undergraduate degree, but I guess I will just have to wait and see.

My advice

Science is such an important discipline. It is interesting and is applicable to everyday life. Don’t be scared of the lab hours, as they really do help you in cementing the information you have learnt in lectures. Do it, and you’ll be amazed where science can take you, and what you will discover along the way.