Intel ISEF Team Profile – Jade Moxey – Grazing sheep on Deadly fireweed: A “BaaaaD” situation?

When working on her family farm in Bega, Jade Moxey often sees sheep feeding on fireweed. It made her wonder whether this toxic weed is moving through the food chain onto the dinner plate. Fireweed contains Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs) which can be toxic. Jade studied whether PAs entered the food chain as a result of sheep feeding on the toxic weed. She conducted blood testing, liver analysis and liver histopathology to determine whether residual PAs were present in the tissue of sheep.