Nine graduate students earn ARD and CASNR fellowships

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Nine graduate students earn ARD and CASNR fellowships

Nine graduate students earn ARD and CASNR fellowships.

Nine Department of Agronomy and Horticulture graduate students will be honored with awards and fellowships from the Agricultural Research Division and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the Distinguished Fellowships and Awards Luncheon Dec. 7.

Doctoral students Christopher Anuo, Hafith Furqoni and Ramandeep Kaur received the John and Louise Skala Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Award. This award recognizes exceptional graduate students engaged in research in areas relating to new industrial uses of agricultural products.

Anuo is specializing in soil and environmental chemistry. His research focuses on evaluating land use and management practices impact on soil organic carbon and nitrogen cycling across Nebraska, with the goal of identifying best management techniques for optimizing soil organic carbon and nitrogen storage in agricultural soils. Anuo is advised by assistant professor Michael Kaiser.

Furqoni is specializing in crop physiology and production. His research focuses on the dynamics of protein and oil content in soybean during seed development at different plant strata or heights. He is advised by John Lindquist, professor and associate department head.

Kaur’s research is on the management of Atrazine, Glyphosate, and ALS-inhibiting Herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth in herbicide-resistant and food grade corn. She is specializing in weed science and is advised by Amit Jhala, associate professor and extension weed management specialist.

Yuvraj Chopra, master’s student specializing in plant breeding and genetics, received the Hardin Trust Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. This fellowship is awarded to outstanding graduate students and supports research in plant physiology with particular emphasis on genetic mechanisms influencing plant responses to stress conditions.

Chopra’s research is working to understand the physiological and molecular responses to drought in sorghum. He is advised by Harkamal Walia, professor of agronomy and a faculty fellow with the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute, and Scott Sattler, USDA research molecular biologist.

Fernanda Krupek, doctoral student specializing in crop physiology and production, received the Dr. Ron Johnson and Dr. Mary Beck Graduate Student Fellowship for Nature Conservation. This award recognizes graduate students who are contributing to the conservation of nature and biodiversity.

Krupek’s research centers on the Soil Health Initiative, a collaborative project partnering Nebraska’s On-Farm Research Network, USDA-NRCS and producers. On-farm research experiments are testing the use of cover crops, diversified crop rotations and other practices known to support both agricultural production and environmental improvements. She is looking at how integrative measures can define the current status of land quality and its change over time, and to understand the social mechanisms and human dimensions underlying farmers’ adoption and continued use of soil health practices and engagement in agricultural conservation programs. She is advised by assistant professor Andrea Basche.

Gonzalo Rizzo, doctoral student specializing in crop physiology and production, received three awards including the ARD Widaman Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Award, the American Society of Agronomy Gerald O. Mott Meritorious Graduate Student Award and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Office of Graduate Studies Outstanding Research and Creative Activities Award. These awards recognize exceptional graduate students and excellence in their research.

Rizzo focuses his research on finding opportunities to further increase crop production in high yield environments and identify areas that have the greatest potential to increase food production. He is advised by associate professor Patricio Grassini.<

Laura Thompson, doctoral student specializing in soil and water sciences, received the Margrave Agricultural Fellowship Fund.  Thompson’s research focuses on the spatial (e.g., soil properties) and temporal (e.g., weather) variability that impacts optimal nitrogen rate in corn. In her work, she explores site-specific digital tools including remote sensing, crop modeling, and data fusion to improve corn nitrogen management. She is advised by assistant professor Laila Puntel.

Doctoral students Tauana Ferreira De Almeida and Milos Zaric were awarded the CASNR Milton Mohr Fellowship. This fellowship is awarded to full-time master’s and doctoral students for teaching.

Ferreira De Almeida, also advised by Basche, is leading the team’s participation in the Precision Sustainable Agriculture Coordinated Agriculture Project. Her research is focused on the efficiency of cover crops under different management systems to improve soil health, control weeds and pests, and increase cash crop yield.

Zaric is specializing in weed science and is advised by associate professor Sam Wortman. His research focuses on pesticide and herbicide application research. He is examining the sensitivity of industrial hemp to the off-target movement of commonly applied herbicides registered for use in corn and soybean. His research poster titled “Industrial Hemp Biomass Negatively Affected by Herbicide Drift from Corn and Soybean Herbicides” received second-place at the Western Society of Weed Science Annual Meeting.

A complete list of 2022 Department of Agronomy and Horticulture student award recipients.

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