Former Goulburn Valley Grammar School student Marrianne Haines will head to Canada for postgraduate studies after being awarded a John Monash Scholarship.
The La Trobe University microbiology honours student will begin her PhD at the University of Calgary in May next year after she was awarded the scholarship for outstanding Australians with leadership potential who wish to study overseas.
Ms Haines, who grew up on a crop and sheep farm near Nagambie, was one of 18 national recipients to receive the scholarship, which she said was surreal.
‘‘I put my best effort in to the application process, but I wasn’t sure if I was a real chance,’’ she said.
‘‘I feel very honoured to receive it.’’
Ms Haines’ supervisor and La Trobe’s School of Life Science research director, Dr Ashley Franks, said she was the perfect recipient.
‘‘Marrianne is one of the most outstanding students I have had the pleasure of supervising,’’ Dr Franks said.
‘‘The scholarship is a great opportunity for her to continue to develop her potential by undertaking a PhD in one of the leading international laboratories in her field.’’
Ms Haines completed her Bachelor of Biological Sciences before doing Honours in Microbiology.
‘‘I came to La Trobe to study animal and veterinary science, but fell into microbiology after doing a subject on it,’’ she said.
‘‘I have developed a passion for environmental microbiology and hope in the future to return to Australia to apply my knowledge to industry.’’
During her time at La Trobe, Ms Haines has also acted as a science mentor in disadvantaged schools as well as setting up and running the La Trobe Microbiology Society.