Graduate students, faculty member receive regional awards

From left: Julie Howe, Zack Ogles, Robert McKee, Rui Yang, Damianos Damianidis

From left: Julie Howe, Zack Ogles, Robert McKee, Rui Yang, Damianos Damianidis

A faculty member and four graduate students in the Auburn Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences received awards at the Southern Branch – American Society of Agronomy annual meeting in Atlanta, Feb. 1-3.

 Associate professor Julie Howe, recognized as an outstanding scientist, received the American Society of Agronomy Early Career Award in Research. John Beasley, head of the department, took notice of Howe’s immediate impact and mentioned it in his nomination letter.

 “Dr. Howe has quickly become a very respected and well-known soil chemist,” Beasley said. “A major focus of her research has been calcium availability and uptake in peanut, carbon dynamics in sod-based rotation systems, and heavy metals in southeastern soils.”

 Graduate students who received awards are as follows:

  • Zack Ogles, a Ph.D. student advised by David Weaver and Beth Guertal, won 1st place for his poster, “Edamame cultivar evaluation in central Alabama.”
  • Robert McKee, a master’s student under Jennifer Johnson, placed 3rd with his “First year results of a grazing evaluation of cool-season forages with and without legumes,” poster.
  • Rui Yang, Ph.D. student in Howe’s lab, received 3rd place with his “Evaluation of methods for soil calcium for peanut production in coastal plain soils,” poster.
  • Damianos Damianidis, Ph.D. student advised by Brenda Ortiz, won 2nd place in the oral competition with “Predicting Aflatoxin contamination risk in corn with a generic drought index.”

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