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Weed Science Society of America Announces 2012 Winners in Annual Awards Program

This week the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) honored more than two dozen individuals for their outstanding contributions to the field of weed science. The awards were presented during the organization’s annual meeting, held this year in Waikoloa, Hawaii.

“These are true innovators from academia, government and private industry who are making a significant mark on our profession through their research, teaching, publishing and outreach,” said Michael Barrett, 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:

  • Jeffrey Derr, Ph.D., a professor of weed science at Virginia Tech and former president of WSSA. Derr has authored or co-authored 136 papers and 52 refereed journal articles on weed management, made over 775 extension talks and authored 200 articles for newsletters and national trade magazines. He is associate editor for both Weed Science and Weed Technology.
  • John Jachetta, Ph.D., a regulatory sciences and government affairs leader at Dow AgroSciences, who has championed the development and registration of new herbicides. He is former president of WSSA, founded the FIFRA Endangered Species Task Force and is former chairman of the CropLife America NAFTA Industry Working Group.
  • Phillip Stahlman, Ph.D., professor and weed science researcher at Kansas State University and a specialist in dry land cropping systems. He has authored or co-authored 70 refereed journal articles and book chapters, more than 450 scientific abstracts, proceedings and research reports and is co-holder of a U.S. patent in the use of bacterial strains in weed control. Recently, Stahlman has been conducting training and establishing demonstration sites in the Republic of Malawi on herbicide use in maize and groundnuts. He is currently president of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology.

Outstanding Extension Award. WSSA honored A. Stanley Culpepper, Ph.D., professor in crop and soil science at the University of Georgia. Culpepper is actively involved in weed science extension programs involving cotton, vegetable and small grain weeds, as well as in applied weed management research. He is frequently published and has spoken at nearly 400 county grower meetings throughout Georgia. Culpepper was the first extension expert to win the EPA’s Montreal Protocol Award for the preservation of the ozone layer.

Outstanding Teacher Award. WSSA honored Gregory MacDonald, Ph.D., a professor of weed science and agronomy at the University of Florida. In 2005 MacDonald expanded his weed science courses to include an online format, allowing him to reach students throughout the state of Florida and beyond. His research focuses on the physiology, ecology and management of invasive species, especially perennial grasses and cogongrass.

Outstanding Research Award. WSSA honored Prasanta C. Bhowmik, Ph.D., a professor of weed science at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. His research focuses on weed biology, allelopathy and invasive species, perennial weed control and integrated weed management in field crops and turfgrass. Bhowmik has made more than 500 presentations in 22 countries around the world and has authored numerous peer-reviewed papers, extension articles, abstracts and reports. He is a WSSA Fellow.

Outstanding Early Career Weed Scientist Award. WSSA honored Shawn Askew, Ph.D., an assistant professor and extension specialist in turfgrass weed science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va. Both Askew and his students are very active in WSSA, as well as the Southwest and Northeast regional weed science societies. In fact, they have presented at every meeting over the past decade.

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

  • Catherine Jarnevich with Tracy Holcombe, David Barnett, Thomas Stohlgren and John Kartesz for their paper in Invasive Plant Science and Management: “Forecasting Weed Distributions Using Climate Data: A GIS Early Warning Tool.” Jarnevich and Holcombe are ecologists with the USGS, while Barnett is a spatial ecologist with the National Ecological Observatory. Stohlgren and Kartesz are specialists in biological invasions and floristics, respectively.
  • Kate Thinglum with Chance Riggins, Adam Davis, Kevin Bradley, Kassim Al-Khatib and Patrick Tranel for their paper in Weed Science: “Wide Distribution of the Waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) ΔG210 PPX2 Mutation, Which Confers Resistance to PPO-inhibiting Herbicides.” Thinglum’s Master’s thesis investigated the spread of herbicide-resistant waterhemp. Riggins is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Davis is a research ecologist with the USDA-ARS Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit, while Bradley is an associate professor and state extension weed scientist at the University of Missouri. Al-Khatib is a professor at the University of California and directs its IPM program. Tranel is a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois.
  • Silvia Fogliatto with Francesco Vidotto and Aldo Ferrero for their paper in Weed Technology: “Germination of Weedy Rice in Field Conditions during Winter.” Fogliatto is a post-doctorate researcher in sustainable weed management at the University of Torino, Italy. Vidotto and Ferrero are both professors at the university.

Outstanding Graduate Student Award. WSSA honored Sam Wortman, a Ph.D. candidate in agronomy at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Wortman is currently studying the effects of cover crop diversity and alternative termination methods on weed suppression and community composition, soil properties and crop performance.

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

  • Robert E. Blackshaw, 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.
  • Dale Shaner, a researcher with the Water Management Unit of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Fort Collins, Colo., where he conducts research on how to best manage weeds when there is an irrigation deficit. Shaner also helped to establish the intercompany Herbicide Resistance Action Committee.

Honorary Member Award. WSSA selected the husband and wife team of Carol and Jerry Baskin for honorary membership in the society. Both are professors at University of Kentucky. Their book Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination (Academic Press, 1998; paperback, 2001), received the New York Botanical Garden Henry Allan Gleason Award. They also have published more than 450 papers and book chapters.

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 www.wssa.net.