The American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America hosted thousands of scientists, professionals, educators, and students from around the world at their virtual Annual Meeting. This year’s International Annual Meeting, “Translating Visionary Science to Practice,” previously to be held on November 8-11, 2020, in Phoenix, Arizona, was offered virtually November 9-13, 2020.
In connection with the Annual Meeting theme of “Translating Visionary Science to Practice”, this virtual format presented exciting networking opportunities, scientific abstracts, oral and poster sessions, an exhibit hall, technical workshops, and professional tours. There was also a career center, graduate and undergraduate programs, distinguished lecturers, awards, continuing education units, prizes, and more!
The international meeting also included a number of opportunities for students pursuing studies in these fields. The CSSA society-wide award selects top three winners from the presentations of students nominated by each of 9 divisions based on quality of science, clarity of presentation, and skill with which the presenters answer questions. Several Rutgers graduate students in the Department of Plant Biology made presentations and received the following awards.
Cathryn Chapman (Advisor: Bingru Huang, distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Biology and director of the Graduate Program in Plant Biology)
First place Oral in Turf Management and Ecology: “Effects of Elevated Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Drought Tolerance and Post-Drought Recovery Regrowth in Two Cool-Season Perennial Turfgrass Species.” Chapman also won second place Poster in Turf Management and Ecology: “Physiological Effects of Plant-Health Products for Improving Drought Tolerance and Post-Stress Recovery in Creeping Bentgrass.”
Chapman is a Ph.D. Graduate Student working with Dr. Bingru Huang. Her research focuses on the mechanisms regulating drought survival and post-drought recovery in cool-season turfgrass species. “Receiving a first-place award for my oral presentation, as well as receiving second place for a poster presentation at this same conference, is such a powerful reminder that hard work and dedication towards my research pays off and I am beyond grateful for the recognition,” said Chapman.
Stephanie Rossi (Advisor: Bingru Huang, distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Biology and director of the Graduate Program in Plant Biology)
First place in two graduate student oral competitions for her “Metabolic Regulation of у-Aminobutyric Acid During Heat-Induced Leaf Senescence in Creeping Bentgrass,” and “Involvement of Proline in Amino Acid Metabolism Associated with Enhanced Heat Tolerance in Creeping Bentgrass.”
Stephanie Rossi, a graduate student in Dr. Bingru Huang’s laboratory, studies the biochemical and molecular mechanisms regulating heat-induced leaf senescence in cool-season turfgrass species and sought to identify how amino acids may improve heat tolerance in these two studies. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to present my research at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA meeting and am thoroughly grateful that my works were so generously accepted and recognized,” said Rossi
Pingyuan Zhang (Advisors Bruce Clarke, Extension Specialist in Turfgrass Pathology, and James Murphy, Extension Specialist)
First place Poster in presentation “Interpretations of a Logistic Regression Model for Fungicide Control of Dollar Spot on Creeping Bentgrass,”
Pingyuan Zhang, a third year PhD student, is working with Drs. Murphy and Clarke on the developing best management practices for the control of dollar spot on turfgrass. He received his MS at the University of Illinois before starting graduate studies at Rutgers.
“Receiving this academic award has encouraged me to work hard and maintain the high standards set forth by my advisors while I pursue my goal of becoming a turfgrass researcher,” said Zhang
William Errickson, (Advisor: Bingru Huang, distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Biology and director of the Graduate Program in Plant Biology)
First place in the Turfgrass Management Poster Competition for “Rhizobacteria Inoculation and Colonization for Promoting Plant Growth in Cool Season Turfgrass.” Second place in the Society-Wide Graduate Student Competition for the presentation entitled, “Metabolic Adjustment of Creeping Bentgrass for Improved Drought Tolerance and Post-Drought Recovery By the Colonization of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria”
William Errickson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Plant Biology studying turfgrass physiology under the guidance of Dr. Bingru Huang. His research is focused on developing a better understanding of microbe-plant symbiosis and developing effective approaches of using rhizobacteria to improve crop production with reduced inputs. William is also an Extension Agent in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, with a concentration in sustainable nursery production, turfgrass management, and agricultural innovation. “I am honored to receive these awards from the Crop Science Society of America and truly grateful for the opportunities afforded to me by SEBS and NJAES,” said Errickson.