Student Spotlight

The Department of Crop and Soil Sciences is dedicated to providing the best education programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Our students are among the finest in the world and, in this section, we want to brag a bit! Keep checking back to see who we spotlight next!


Archive of Featured Stories:


Crop and Soil Sciences Students Honored at the 2021 Southern Weed Science Society Annual Meeting

UGA was well-represented in the winner's circle at the Southern Weed Science Society annual meeting.  Six out of twenty-four awards were given to UGA students.
 
In addition, Nick Hurdle received with the outstanding M.S. Grad Student award.
 
Well done to all!
  • Outstanding Graduate Student
    Nicholas Hurdle
  • Poster and Paper Winners
    Kayla Eason (Grey) - 1st Place PhD Poster
    Camp Hand (Culpepper) - 2nd Place PhD Poster
    Nicholas Hurdle (Grey) - 2nd Place MS Paper
    Taylor Randell (Culpepper) - 1st Place PhD Paper
    Hannah Wright (Culpepper) - 1st Place PhD Paper
    Chad Abbott (Prostko) - 2nd Place PhD Paper

Subash Dahal's Paper Named Notable Paper by Sustainability on World Soil Day

Dahal is a former CRSS graduate student and was advised by Dory Franklin.

The paper is titled "Strategic Grazing in Beef-Pastures for Improved Soil Health and Reduced Runoff-Nitrate-A Step towards Sustainability."

Read the paper here

Our Students at the 2020 ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting

  • S. Brad Davis (M.S. student under direction of R. Scott Tubbs)
    • 1st place at the 2020 Crop Science Society of America Annual Meeting for the C-3 Division (Crop Ecology, Management and Quality) M.S. Poster Competition in November. 
  • Lorena Lacerda (Ph.D. student under the direction of George Vellidis)
    • 1st place in the 2020 ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting Airborne and Satellite Remote Sensing Student Oral Competition.
  • Maria Teresa Tancredi (Advisor: Nandita Gaur)
    • Representative of Soil Physics and Hydrology Division for the SSSA Society-wide student competition “Impact of Varying Domain Complexity in Hydrus 2-D on Hydrological Predictions and Chloride Transport: A Case Study in the Piedmont Physiographic Region in Georgia” 
  • Rajneesh Sharma (Advisor: Matt Levi)
    • 1st place poster competition - Soil Pedology Division and Representative of the Pedology Division for the SSSA Society-wide student competition “Scaling Carbon through Time and Space in the U.S. Southern Coastal Plain” 
    • Representative of the Pedology Division for the SSSA Society-wide student competition “Scaling Carbon through Time and Space in the U.S. Southern Coastal Plain” (Advisor: Matt Levi)
  • Derrick Platero (Co-advisors: Nandita Gaur and Matt Levi)
    • 2nd place poster competition - Soil Pedology Division “Combining Geophysical Techniques and Lidar to Predict Soil Physical Properties in a Georgia Piedmont Floodplain” 

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Cameron is the 2019 American Star in Agriscience Winner

Courtney Cameron, an AES major in Crop and Soil Sciences, was named the 2019 American Star in Agriscience winner at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis held October 30 - November 2.

Courtney is from Valdosta, Georgia and is involved in plant disease research.

Read the story here

Crop and Soil Sciences Students Receive Awards at the Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy Meeting

Three UGA Crop and Soil Sciences graduate students received five awards for their presentations at the Southern Branch of the American Society of Agronomy held virtually from January 30 to February 1, 2021.

  • Chiara Rossi, a PhD student under Dr. Cristiane Pilon, received 1st place on the PhD Poster Competition and 2nd place (shared with Ana Julia Azevedo) on the PhD Oral Competition.
  • Ana Julia Azevedo, a PhD student under Dr. Scott Tubbs, received 2nd place on the PhD Oral Competition.
  • Hayden Godwin, an MS student under Dr. Scott Tubbs, received 1st place on the MS Poster Competition and 2nd place on the MS Oral Competition.

ANOTHER CRSS DAWG ABROAD

Dann To Receive Dual Master's Degree 

Carson Dann, at left in above photo, a M.S. student participating in the Dual Master’s of Science in Sustainable Agriculture Degree program, successfully defended her thesis at the University of Padova (UNIPD) on 23 October 2019. Carson will be receiving a M.S. from both the University of Georgia (UGA) and the University of Padova.

Dann's advisors are Dr. Miguel Cabrera (UGA) and Dr. Francesco Morari (UNIPD), at right in above photo.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

Toffanin Receives Best Poster Award

Arianna Toffanin, a M.S. student participating in the Dual Master’s of Science in Sustainable Agriculture Degree program received the Best Poster Award at the European Conference on Precision Agriculture in Montpellier, France. She competed against 86 other posters submitted by precision agriculture researchers from all over the world.

The title of Arianna’s poster was “Scheduling Nitrogen Applications in Maize with a Simulation Model.” Arianna is co-advised by Drs. George Vellidis and Maurizio Borin.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

UGA Weed Team Takes 3rd Place 

Congratulations to the UGA Weed Team for their 3rd place finish in the Southern Region Section of the National Weed Science Contest in Seymour, Illinois. The team place 8th overall (out of 67 teams) in the national rankings.

The National Weed Science Contest (affectionately known as the "Weed Olympics) is a joint activity between the Northeastern, North Central, Southern, and Western Weed Science Societies. The purpose of this national contest is to provide a competitive educational experience from which students from universities across the country can broaden their applied skills in Weed Science.

Members of the UGA Weed Team include (l-r in photo above): Camp Hand, Kayla Eason, Taylor Randell, Jacob Kalina, AJ Brown, Logan Dyer, and Nick Hurdle. The team is sponsored by Dr. Nick Basinger (current sponsor) and Dr. Eric Prostko (previous sponsor). The team is comprised of students from both the Athens and Tifton campuses and represent four Weed Science faculty members: Nick Basinger, Stanley Culpepper, Timothy Grey, and Gerald Henry.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

AES Students Receive Scholarships

Kasey Herrington and Mary Logan Tostenson, both Agriscience and Environmental Science students in Crop and Soil Sciences, received academic scholarships from the Georgia Crop Production Alliance at the group's annual meeting held October 30 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

Pictured above are (l-r): CAES Dean Sam Pardue, Herrington, Tostenson, CRSS Professor, Scott Tubbs.

DAWGS ABROAD

Dual Master's Students Attend Conference in Austria

Master’s students Carson Dann (third from right) and Brendan Fatzinger (fourth from right) recently attended the European Geophysical Union Conference in Vienna, Austria where Carson presented a poster on her thesis research.

Both students are participating in the Dual Master’s Degree with the University of Padova and are currently in Italy conducting their thesis research.

Carson’s advisor is Prof. Francesco Morari and Brendan’s advisor is Professor Antonio Berti.  Both are adjunct faculty in the Crop & Soil Sciences Department.

DAWGS ABROAD

Fatzinger Receives Dual Degree M.S. in Italy

Brendan Fatzinger, a M.S. student participating in the Dual Master’s of Science in Sustainable Agriculture Degree program, successfully defended his thesis at the University of Padova (UNIPD) on 27 September 2019. Brendan will be receiving a M.S. from both the University of Georgia (UGA) and the University of Padova.

Fatzinger's advisors are Dr. Dory Franklin (UGA) and Dr. Tony Berti (UNIPD).

GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT

Dusty Engel

Precision Agriculture Manager, Lasseter Equipment Company

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GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT

Perri Campis

Project Director, Flint River Soil & Water Conservation District

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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Hallie Wright Is Miss Collegiate Indy '20

Hallie Wright, a graduate student in the Devos Lab, took home the title in the Miss Collegiate Indy Scholarship competition (held January 25, 2020) with her platform "Become an Ag-Vocate: Enhancing Agricultural Literacy."

Join us in congratulating Hallie on her accomplishment!

Read the Full Article


STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Sujata Bogati

Congratulations to Sujata Bogati for receiving first place in the poster competition at the ASA Southern Branch Meeting, held February 1-3 in Louisville, KY. 

The title of her poster is "Influence of Conservation Tillage on Water-use Efficiency and Yield of Peanut."

Sujata is a Graduate Assistant/Master's Student at the UGA Griffin Campus. Her major advisor is Dr. Monique Leclerc, with co-advisor Dr. R.S. Tubbs.


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Logan Moore

Logan Moore, the first graduate of the dual master’s degree program in sustainable agriculture from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and UNIPD in Italy, is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Plant Pathology.

Read the Story


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller, currently a UGA Extension Agent in Jeff Davis County, is a 2005 Crop and Soil Sciences graduate who majored in Agriscience and Environmental Systems.

Read Her Story

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Lorena Lacerda, Ph.D. Student, Receives E. Broadus Browne Award for Outstanding Graduate Research

Congratulations to Lorena Lacerda for winning first place in the doctoral-level competition with her presentation, "Using Remote Sensing to Delineate Dynamic Irrigation Management Zones." Lacerda's major professor is Dr. George Vellidis.

Read More

Crop & Soil Sciences Undergrad Takes 2nd in the 2020 CAES Virtual Research Symposium

Congratulations to Matthew Tucker for his second place finish in the 2020 CAES Virtual Research Symposium!

Tucker, who receives a $500 prize for his accomplishment, is mentored by Dr. Dory Franklin. His winning presentation was titled "Relating Sensor and Soils Data to Find Relationships with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index."

Michaela Lubbers, a Biotechnology undergraduate student and 1st place winner, was mentored by Crop and Soil Sciences faculty member, Dr. Jennifer Jo Thompson.

Crop & Soil Sciences Students Place 2nd and 3rd in APRES Graduate Student Competition

Kayla Eason and Nick Hurdle place 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the Joe Sugg Award Graduate Student Competition during the 2020 American Peanut Research and Education Society (APRES) Virtual Annual Meeting. The award is sponsored by the North Carolina Peanut Growers Associations.

Twenty-eight M.S. and Ph.D. graduate students from across the peanut research world participated in the online contest. Congratulations to both on this honor!

Crop & Soil Sciences Student Achievements

Natalia Espinoza from Ecuador is a Fulbright student who was awarded a GAIN Fellowship from the Graduate School to start an M.S. program in the Crop and Soil Sciences department in Fall, 2020. 

Maria Teresa Tancredi (one of our dual MS students from Padova) is finishing her M.S. here and was awarded a GREAT Fellowship from the Graduate School to start her Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Sciences in Fall, 2020.

Derrick Platero

Derrick Platero Receives 2020 John Spencer Research Grant

M.S. student Derrick Platero is a recipient of a 2020 John Spencer Research Grant. These grants support graduate students affiliated with the UGA's River Basin Center with small grants of up to $2,000. 

Platero's co-advisors are CRSS faculty members Dr. Matthew Levi and Dr. Nandita Gaur.

Read more about Platero's project

 

Andrea Newbern (Alumni Spotlight)

AES major Andrea Newbern believes that the skills and knowledge she gained from the UGA Tifton Campus prepared her for a successful and diverse career path that is still developing and progressing with the ever-changing GIS industry.

She believes that the program gives you not only a specialized agricultural context, but the foundational skills that can be successfully transferred to any business.

Read more about Newbern's UGA Experience

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Harper named new National FFA President

Doster Harper, a student in the Agriscience and Environmental Systems major, was named the 2020-2021 National FFA President.

Each year during the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as national officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary, and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern, and western regions of the country.

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually.National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Throughout their year of service, the officers will interact with business and industry leaders; thousands of FFA members and teachers; corporate sponsors; government and education officials; state FFA leaders; the general public; and more. The team will lead personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and the next generation of leaders.

Read More About the Election


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT

Nick McGhee

A 2011 graduate of Crop and Soil Sciences, Nick currently works as the agronomist for the USDA-NRCS Jimmy Carter Plant Materials Center in Sumter County, Georgia.

Read More About Nick