MSU grad student wins inaugural award

Author: Vanessa Beeson

Mississippi State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

A Mississippi State University graduate student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is the first-time recipient of a national weed science award.

Drake Copeland placed first in the master of science category of the inaugural student poster contest at the recent Weed Science Society of America annual meeting. He won for his poster on the evaluation of pre-emergence herbicides and insecticidal seed treatments on thrips infestation in cotton.

Copeland, a native of west Tennessee who holds a bachelor's degree in agronomy from the University of Tennessee at Martin, is completing his master's degree in agronomy at MSU. After he graduates in May, Copeland said he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in weed science at North Carolina State University.

"Drake is an outstanding student," said Darrin Dodds, associate Extension and research professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and one of Copeland's major professors. "He always steps up to the plate regardless of the situation. He is an excellent presenter, communicator and researcher."

Angus Catchot, Extension professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology and Copeland's other major professor, described the graduate student's research as cutting edge, addressing an area of growing concern for cotton producers in the Midsouth.

"The use of pre-emergence herbicides and the incidence of tobacco thrips in cotton have both increased dramatically in the past few years," Catchot said. "Drake is examining the types of insecticidal seed treatment used on tobacco thrips, along with the influence of pre-emergence herbicides, and evaluating how each of these coincides with cotton development and yield."

For more on the Weed Science Society of America, see

Date: 2015-03-05

Plant and Soil Sciences