Plant Science Students Earn Top Honors

Students in Utah State University’s Department of Plants, Soils and Climate (PSC) earned several awards at an international conference hosted by the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS).

Plant science student Alyssa Palmer was awarded the society’s most prestigious scholarship for undergraduate research. Palmer has been a research assistant since 2017 in Assistant Professor Youping Sun’s lab and is co-author of an article titled Responses of Ornamental Grass and Grass-like Plants to Saline Water Irrigation which appeared in the journal HortTechnology. She was honored earlier this year as the 2019 PSC Department’s Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.

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Master’s degree student Anthony Whaley was named the 2019 winner of the eOrganic and ASHS Organic Interest Group Student Paper competition for his article, Establishing Organic Peaches in the Intermountain West (  Whaley is mentored by Associate Professor Jennifer Reeve who is one of several faculty members and former students involved in nine years of organic peach research at the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station’s Kaysville Research Farm. Whaley synthesized information from a number of peer-reviewed articles on that work to create a publication for growers and gave a presentation on the segment of his paper devoted to organic orchard floor management which is critical to soil health and pest management.

USU plant identification team members Adrienne Hill, Julie Hershkowitz, Charlotte Jacketta and Palmer, mentored by PSC faculty members Lance Stott and Sun, also did very well in the competition. The team was edged out of first place by a single point, and came back with second place honors. In the individual plant identification competition, Hill placed first and Hershkowitz placed second.

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