Mississippi State students honored for research at state's Academy of Sciences
Author: Karen Brasher
Seven Mississippi State students were recognized for their posters and oral presentations at the statewide science meeting.
The Mississippi Academy of Sciences honored College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students at their 84th annual meeting held in Biloxi. The academy, which is a forum for communication among scientists, also promotes science education for K-12 students and sponsors a summer student science symposium for undergraduate and graduate students.
In the undergraduate student poster competition, Lauryn Polito, a junior horticulture major from Trussville, Ala., earned first place for her research on the effects of carbon dioxide concentration on crops. Polito is an undergraduate research scholar working under the direction of Raja Reddy, research professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and a scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station (MAFES).
Stephen Schade, a senior microbiology major from Garner, N.C., placed third in the undergraduate poster competition. Schade is an undergraduate research scholar working under the direction of Rama Nannapaneni, a research professor in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion and a MAFES scientist. Schade's research examined the survival and regrowth of foodborne pathogens under different concentrations of chemical disinfectants.
At the graduate level, MSU agronomy students swept the graduate poster competition. Dillon Russell, master's student, earned first place for his poster on irrigation scheduling and cover crop influence on corn production in the Mississippi Delta. Russell is under the direction of Gurpreet Kaur, an assistant research professor in plant and soil sciences and a MAFES scientist stationed at the Delta Research and Extension Center.
Chad Hankins, master's student, placed second for his work on tillage and fertilizer effects on irrigated and dryland corn in the Delta. Hankins is under the direction of Gurbir Singh, an assistant research professor in plant and soil sciences and a MAFES scientist also stationed at the Delta Research and Extension Center. Also working under Singh, Amilcar Vargas, a doctoral student, placed third for research on cover crop response to herbicides labeled for cotton.
In the graduate student oral presentation competition, MSU agronomy majors took first and second place prizes. Hunt Walne, a doctoral student, placed first for his presentation on cabbage and mustard family plants growth response to ultraviolet-b radiation. Walne is also under the direction of Reddy. Anna Gaudin, master's student, placed second for her work on the effects of calcium application timing on peanut growth and yield.
Kaur serves as the chairperson for the Mississippi Academy of Sciences Agriculture and Plant Sciences division and spoke to the success of MSU's students.
"Out of nine winners, seven are Mississippi State students," Kaur said. "With 42 students from all universities within the state participating, this speaks to the quality of our faculty instruction and the success of our students to conduct research that has an impact for producers and Mississippians."