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Weed Science Society of America Announces 2013 Winners in Annual Awards Program

This week the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) honored nearly 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 Baltimore, Md.

“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 Rodney Lym, Ph.D., president of WSSA and host of the award ceremonies.

Among the award winners were:

New WSSA Fellows. The organization presented its highest recognition โ€” the Fellow award โ€” to three weed scientists:

  • Phil Banks, Ph.D., founder of Marathon-Agricultural and Environmental Consulting. Banks serves as business manager for the Southern and Western Weed Science Societies, executive secretary for the North Central Weed Science Society and executive director of the North American Invasive Species Management Association. He is a former instructor and researcher at the University of Georgia, where he was recognized for outstanding teaching.
  • Frank Forcella, Ph.D., of the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Forcella also is an adjunct professor at both the University of Minnesota and South Dakota State University. His wide-ranging research program emphasizes the management of specialty oilseeds and the ecosystem services provided by such crops. He has served as an editor for Weed Science and Weed Research and has garnered previous awards from WSSA for outstanding papers and research.
  • Jerry M. Green, Ph.D., a researcher with DuPont Pioneer Ag Biotechnology. Green has spent much of his career working on the discovery of new herbicides and is now focusing on the discovery and development of herbicide-resistant crops. He has served as an editor for Weed Technology, chaired WSSA committees and received the WSSA Outstanding Industry Award. He is a founding member of the International Society for Agricultural Adjuvants.

Outstanding Extension Award. WSSA honored William S. Curran, Ph.D., professor at Penn State University. Curan is responsible for statewide weed management education for agronomic crops. He has developed many educational materials and regularly speaks at statewide, regional, and county meetings and workshops. He conducts research on herbicide evaluation, weed biology and ecology, integrated weed management, weed management in conservation tillage systems and managing weeds in organic crop production systems.

Outstanding Teacher Award. WSSA honored William K. Vencill, Ph.D., a weed scientist with the Crop and Soil Sciences Department at the University of Georgia. Vencill conducts research in herbicide physiology, herbicide persistence and weed management. He is undergraduate coordinator for Crop and Soil Sciences and teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels on a wide variety of weed science topics โ€” from introductory weed science to herbicide physiology.

Outstanding Graduate Student Award. WSSA honored Angela R. Post, a Ph.D. candidate at Virginia Tech. Her current research involves control of silvery thread moss (Bryum argenteum) on golf course putting greens. Post has authored or co-authored seven peer reviewed publications, a book chapter and 30 scientific abstracts. She has presented her research at two international meetings and is an active part of Virginia Tech’s turfgrass weed science extension program. She is nearing completion of her Ph.D. and intends to continue working in the field of weed science.

Outstanding Research Award. WSSA honored Dale L. Shaner, Ph.D., who has conducted research in university, industry and government settings. He is currently with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, where he conducts research on weed management under deficit irrigation. Shaner helped establish the intercompany Herbicide Resistance Action Committee and has been active in herbicide resistance management for ALS inhibitors and glyphosate. He is a former WSSA president and board member and was elected a WSSA Fellow in 2000.

Outstanding Early Career Weed Scientist Award. WSSA honored Scott McElroy, Ph.D., an associate professor at Auburn University, whose research focuses on weed management in turfgrass and on herbicide resistant weed species. McElroy is currently an elected board member of the European Turfgrass Society. He regularly collaborates with researchers in other countries and speaks both nationally and internationally on weed management. He is an associate editor for Weed Technology and serves as a reviewer for Weed Science, Agronomy Journal, Crop Science, HortScience, and HortTechnology.

Outstanding Industry Award. WSSA honored Steven R. Gylling, Ph.D., CEO of Gylling Data Management. Gylling and his wife Fran created software to standardize how data is handled for weed research trials and for efficacy trials in crop protection and agronomy. The software is currently used by more than 7,500 clients in 75 countries and nearly 1,000 institutions, and it has been translated into 11 languages. Gylling is active in WSSA and has chaired its Computer Applications Committee. He has participated as an exhibitor or presenter at more than 150 meetings globally to discuss computerized data management.

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

  • Angelica M. Herrera-Reddy, Raymond I. Carruthers and Nicholas J. Mills for their paper in Invasive Plant Science and Management: “Integrated Management of Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) Using Biological Control.” Herrera-Reddy and Carruthers are with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, while Mills is a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
  • Janet Moriles, Stephanie Hansen, David P. Horvath, Graig Reicks, David E.Clay and Sharon A. Clay for their paper in Weed Science: “Microarray and Growth Analyses Identify Differences and Similarities of Early Corn Response to Weeds, Shade, and Nitrogen Stress.” Moriles, Hansen and Reicks are research associates at South Dakota State University. Horvath is a researcher with USDA. David Clay is director of the South Dakota Drought Tolerance Center. Sharon Clay is a professor at South Dakota State University.
  • Glenn J. Evans, Robin R. Bellinder and Russell R. Hahn for their paper in Weed Technology: “An Evaluation of Two Novel Cultivation Tools.” Evans is director of agricultural operations for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. Bellinder and Hahn work in research and extension at Cornell University.

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

  • Ramon Leon, Ph.D., a recently appointed weed scientist and assistant professor at the University of Florida. Previously, Leon was with EARTH University in Costa Rica. His current research and extension program focuses on integrated weed management in row crops and turfgrass, with an emphasis on weed-crop interactions and herbicide efficacy, physiology, seed bank dynamics, ecophysiology of weeds and the evolution of weedy traits.
  • Anil Shrestha, Ph.D., originally from Nepal, is an associate professor of weed science at California State University, Fresno. He previously was a weed ecologist with the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. He was named a Fulbright Fellow in Crop and Soil Sciences at Michigan State University and a C. S. Mott Fellow of Sustainable Agriculture.

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.