2011 Winners Announced in Weed Science Society of America’s Annual Awards Program

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Nearly two dozen innovators in the field of weed science were honored during the society's annual meeting, including three who received prestigious Fellow awards.

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These are true innovators who are making a significant mark on our profession through their research, teaching, publishing, outreach and development of new best practices.

This week during its 51st annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, the Weed Science Society of America(WSSA) honored nearly two dozen individuals from academia, government and private industry for their outstanding contributions to the field of weed science.

“These are true innovators who are making a significant mark on our profession through their research, teaching, publishing, outreach and development of new best practices,” said John Jachetta, Ph.D., outgoing president of WSSA and host of the award ceremonies.

New WSSA Fellows. The organization presented its highest recognition – the Fellow award – to the following three weed scientists:

  • Kassim Al-Khatib, Ph.D., director of the Integrated Pest Management Program and a professor of weed science at the University of California. His specialty is weed physiology and herbicide resistance. Al-Khatib has led significant grant programs, holds two patents and has authored or co-authored nearly 350 refereed journal articles, abstracts and proceedings, extension and research publications and book chapters.
  • Joseph DiTomaso, Ph.D., an invasive plants specialist who is director of the Weed Research and Information Center and cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis. He has delivered more than 750 extension presentations and has published more than 110 peer-reviewed papers and three books. He is currently president of the Western Society of Weed Science and is editor of the journal, Invasive Plant Science and Management.
  • David Mortensen, Ph.D., chair of the ecology program at Penn State and a specialist in sustainable weed and pest management practices. He recently received awards from the university for his outstanding research and his mentoring of graduate students. Mortensen has played an active role in support of weed science research and outreach – testifying before Congress and chairing grants programs for the Natural Resources Institute and the USDA. He also received WSSA’s 2011 Outstanding Research Award for his work to determine local and regional patterns in pest populations and exploration of the impact on management methods.

Outstanding Extension Award. WSSA honored Eric Prostko, Ph.D., professor and extension weed specialist in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at the University of Georgia. He is responsible for statewide weed science programs in field corn, peanut, soybean, sunflower, grain sorghum and canola. Among his many accomplishments is development of an Internet-based training program for county extension agents.

Outstanding Teacher Award. WSSA honored Scott Glenn, Ph.D., a professor of weed science at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on perennial weeds and the environmental impact of herbicides. He worked to develop an agricultural education program at the university that was approved in 2009 and has won numerous awards for excellence in teaching, research and academic advising.

Outstanding Industry Award. WSSA honored Raymond Forney, Ph.D., a scientist with DuPont Crop Protection. He works on behalf of DuPont with CropLife International in Brussels on integrated pest management and with CropLife America on product stewardship and sustainability. He was lead author for a 1991 patent that led to the development and commercialization of STS™ soybeans and related herbicide products that are still in use today.

Outstanding Early Career Weed Scientist Award. WSSA honored Adam Davis, Ph.D., a research ecologist with the USDA-ARS Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit in Urbana, Ill., and an assistant professor in the University of Illinois Crop Sciences Department. Among his research interests are modeling the evolution and spread of herbicide-resistant weeds and integrated weed management systems for organic farms.

Outstanding Paper Awards. WSSA honored the following individuals for published papers:

  • Kim Goodwin, M.S., with Richard Engle, Ph.D., and David Weaver, Ph.D., for their paper in Invasive Plant Science and Management: “Trained Dogs Outperform Human Surveyors in the Detection of Rare Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe).” All three work at Montana State University. Goodwin coordinates the Montana Weed Prevention Program at MSU’s Center for Invasive Plant Management. Engel is an associate professor of soil science and Weaver is associate professor of entomology.
  • Jonathan Storkey, Ph.D. with Stephen Moss, Ph.D., and John Cussans for their paper in Weed Science: “Using Assembly Theory to Explain Changes in a Weed Flora in Response to Agriculture Intensification.” All three are active in weed science in the U.K.; their paper is based on research conducted at Rothamsted Research.
  • Ruth Mischler, M.S., with William Curran, Ph.D., Sjoerd Duiker, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Hyde, Ph.D., for their paper in Weed Technology: “Use of a Rolled-rye Cover Crop for Weed Suppression in No-Till Soybeans.” A former Fulbright scholar, Mischler manages animal operations for Frog Belly Farm in Longmont, Colo. Curran is professor of weed science, Duiker is an associate professor of soil management and applied soil physics, and Hyde is an associate professor of agricultural economics – all three at Penn State University,

Outstanding Graduate Student Award. WSSA honored Matthew Ryan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral scholar in weed ecology at Penn State University. Ryan is currently working on a USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative testing weed and insect management strategies in organic rotational no-till grain production systems.

Outstanding Reviewer Awards. WSSA honored the following individuals for their review of scientific papers:

  • Jason Norsworthy, Ph.D., associate professor in the Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Arkansas. His research focuses on the evolution, spread and management of herbicide resistance in Southern cropping systems.
  • Stephen Duke, Ph.D., research leader for the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Natural Products Utilization Research. He is responsible for a team of scientists involved in the discovery of natural pest management products and nutraceuticals.
  • Steven Seefeldt, Ph.D., is a research agronomist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Subarctic Agricultural Research Unit in Fairbanks, Alaska. His primary research concerns weed control and herbicide fate, the impact of farming practices and climate on plant population dynamics, and the spread, impact and management of exotic weeds in arctic and subarctic ecosystems.

Honorary Member Award. WSSA selected Roger Cousens, Ph.D., of the University of Melbourne for honorary membership. Cousens is known internationally for his work in weed population dynamics, the impact of weeds on crop yields and the economics of weed control. He has been especially influential in improving the use of statistics by weed scientists.

About the Weed Science Society of America

The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Weed Science Society of America promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit http://www.wssa.net.

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