Current employment: Post-doc Scientist at DairyNZ
School: Morrinsville College, 2005-2009
Training institute: Massey University 2010-2015, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA, 2016-2019
DairyNZ scholarship recipient: 2010-2012
Nicole’s interest in animal health, specifically mastitis and its impact on bovine health, goes back to her upbringing on a family dairy farm. “I was always asking why cows would get sick and I wanted to know more about how we could prevent diseases.”
It’s been quite a journey since finding her passion all those years ago. Science fair projects during high school led to making initial connections with DairyNZ in 2006. After completing her Bachelor of Science degree in 2012, Nicole began her employment with DairyNZ as a post-graduate student and was supported to complete her Master of Science degree through Massey University. An opportunity was then presented to pursue a PhD abroad at Virginia Tech in the US, with Nicole being awarded her Doctorate in February 2019. Both her Masters and PhD research were in the area of mastitis detection and diagnosis.
“I am grateful that I have had so much support from DairyNZ. It’s those key connections with people at DairyNZ that have set up all the opportunities I have had so far. Getting a DairyNZ Scholarship was a real boost for me because it validated my decision to pursue a career in dairy research.”
Nicole is pleased to have recently returned to New Zealand to continue her dairy science career with DairyNZ and give back to New Zealand dairy farmers.