Four grad students received awards for their outstanding research at the 30th annual Texas Plant Protection Conference on December 4-5 during a special luncheon at the Brazos Center on December 5.
Ph.D. student Luke Pruter was presented the 2018 Ph.D. Student Award in Excellence in recognition of his research and outreach efforts with his dissertation on the best use of advanced pest management technologies (Bt-hybrid corn and atoxigenic strains of A. flavus) for reducing corn yield and quality losses associated with insect ear-feeders (corn earworm and fall armyworm) and aflatoxin.
“Luke has a special interest in interacting with growers, in collaborative research, and in outreach education,” Dr. Mike Brewer said. “Luke embraces a multi-disciplinary approach to pest management research and extension. He has cross-disciplinary interests in entomology, plant pathology, and crop breeding, which has greatly benefited his work and his interactions with colleagues, advisors, and growers.”
Ph.D. student Greg Wilson received second place in the student poster competition for “Host preference and Host Differentiation in the M. sacchari complex in North America.” Wilson is advised by Dr. David Kerns.
Master’s student Ryan Gilreath won first place in the master’s student poster competition with his poster titled “Cross-Crop Resistance to Corn and Cotton in a Vip3A Resistant Strain of Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda.” Gilreath is advised by Dr. David Kerns.
Master’s student Subin Neupane also received second place in the master’s student poster competition with his poster titled “The impact of sorghum phenology and variety on population growth and longevity of sugarcane aphid (Melanaphis sacchari, Zehntner (Hemiptera: Apidididae)” Neupane is co-advised by Drs. Ada Szczepaniec and David Kerns.
“I am very proud and happy for our students,” Kerns said.