Outstanding Student Weed Scientists Are Recognized by WSSA

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A new generation of weed scientists was singled out for making significant contributions to understanding the biology and management of weeds.

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Today the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) announced it has recognized nearly three dozen students from universities in the U.S. and Canada for outstanding research-related presentations and proposals.

“We are proud to single out this new generation of weed scientists, who are actively engaged in research,” says William Curran, Ph.D., president of WSSA. “They are already making significant contributions to our discipline by advancing our understanding of the biology and management of weeds.”

Those honored include nine students who will receive a $2,000 John Jachetta Undergraduate Research Award to fund upcoming research projects:    

  • California State University

    —     Gabrielle Celaya will focus on seed germination biology of California populations of common waterhemp. Sponsor: Anil Shrestha, Ph.D.

  • Cornell University

    —     Emma Kubinski will study the threat johnsongrass poses in New York State. Sponsor: Antonio DiTommaso, Ph.D.

  • Louisiana State University

    —     Katie Mestayer will explore the benefits of chaff lining in cropping systems to minimize weed populations. Sponsor: Lauren Lazaro, Ph.D.

  • Mississippi State University

    —     Andrew Nuss plans to investigate the use of weed-suppressive sweetpotato and cover crops for weed management and for increased profitability of organic sweetpotato production. Sponsor: Te-Ming Paul Tseng, Ph.D.

  • Montana State University

    —     Stacey Robbins will pursue predictive habitat modeling for wiregrass. Sponsor: Lisa J. Rew, Ph.D.

  • Trinity Western University

    —     Virginia Oeggerli will explore the response of Bohemian knotweed seedlings to reduced photosynthetic active radiation. Sponsor: David Clements, Ph.D.

  • University of California, Davis

    —     Katherine Brafford will explore whether yellow starthistle has recently adapted to serpentine soils. Sponsor: Mohsen B. Mesgaran, Ph.D.

  • University of Illinois

    —     Logan Miller will determine if mesotrione resistance in waterhemp results in cross resistance to other HPPD-inhibiting herbicides. Sponsor: Dean E. Riechers, Ph.D.

  • University of Tennessee

    —     Benjamin D. Pritchard will explore herbicide resistance in two summer annual grass weeds. Sponsor: Jim Brosnan, Ph.D.

Students in Ph.D. and M.S. degree programs at 14 universities were recognized for their poster and oral presentations during WSSA’s recent 2020 annual meeting. First, second and third place winners were named in a variety of categories, ranging from agronomic crops to integrated weed management. Those honored include:

  • Colorado State University

    —     Carlos Alberto Rigon, first place, Ph.D. poster presentation
    —     Neeta Soni, second place, Ph.D. poster presentation
    —     Crystal Sparks, third place, Ph.D. poster presentation

  • Cornell University

    —     Maria Gannett, third place, Ph.D. poster presentation

  • Michigan State University

    —     Adam Constine, first place tie, M.S. poster presentation
    —     John Schramski, second place, M.S. poster presentation

  • Mississippi State University

    —     Justin Calhoun, first place, Ph.D. oral presentation
    —     Hayden Quick, third place tie, M.S. oral presentation

  • Oklahoma State University

    —     Bradley Wilson, third place, Ph.D. poster presentation

  • Purdue University

    —     Matthew Osterholt, first place, Ph.D. poster presentation

  • Rutgers University

    —     Katherine Diehl, first place, M.S. poster presentation

  • Texas A&M University

    —     Spencer Samuelson, first place, Ph.D. poster presentation
    —     Aniruddha Maity, second place, Ph.D. poster presentation
    —     Zach Howard, third place, M.S. poster presentation

  • University of Arkansas

    —     Mason Castner, second place, M.S. oral presentation
    —     Rodger Farr, second place, M.S. poster presentation
    — Grant Priess, third place, Ph.D. oral presentation

  • University of Florida

    —     Jonathan Glueckert, second place, M.S. poster presentation

  • University of Georgia

    —     Taylor Randell, first place, M.S. oral presentation
    —     Kayla Eason, second place, Ph.D. oral presentation

  • University of Illinois

    —     Jacob Montgomery, first place, M.S. poster presentation
    — Lucas Bobadilla, second place, Ph.D. poster presentation

  • University of Nebraska

    —     Jose Scarparo de Sanctis, first place, M.S. poster presentation
    —     Samantha Isaacson, third place tie, M.S. oral presentation

  • University of New Hampshire

    —     Samuel Palmer, third place, M.S. poster presentation

A complete list of oral and poster presentation topics is available in the 2020 annual meeting program.

Regional Winners

During its joint annual meeting with WSSA, the Western Society of Weed Science (WSWS) honored nine student members for outstanding oral presentations during the conference. As with WSSA, winners were recognized in multiple categories. Those honored by WSWS included:

  • Colorado State University

    —     Olivia E. Todd, first place
    —     Mirella Ortiz, second place
    —     Jake Courkamp, third place

  • North Dakota State University

    —     Nathan Haugrud, first place

  • Oklahoma State University

    —     Justin Childers, second place

  • University of Adelaide

    —     Marcelo Figveireda, second place

  • University of Nebraska

    —     Clint Beiermann, first place

  • University of Wyoming

    —     Jodie Crose, first place

  • Washington State University

    —     Pragya Asthana, first place

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 Society 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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