After three years travelling the world, Northlander Thomas Corbett is ready to do a doctorate.
At Fieldays last week the Waikato University student was awarded a Ministry of Primary Industries’ doctoral scholarship, worth up to $50,000, to develop a nitrate/nitrite and phosphate sensor for freshwater that he hopes will be easy to use, accurate and affordable, to measure the impacts of run-off and leaching.
Thomas says understanding the effects of run-off and leaching is fundamental to the sustainability of primary production, and requires accurate measurements.
His sensor will be based on the Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films technique, able to be deployed over days or weeks to provide time-weighted average concentration of a nutrient.
Thomas says getting an average concentration rather than a one-off sampling will provide a land owner with much greater certainty of hotspots of nutrient losses and allow targeted mitigation strategies.
Souce: Waikato University