A Ph.D. student in Washington State University’s Department of Crop Science, ARCS scholar Tara Burke was recently awarded first place at the Western Society of Weed Science’s annual meeting. Her award-winning poster was on the effectiveness of several herbicides for weed control in sweet corn, and was based on a field trial placed in Pasco, WA. This poster, and her presentation of it, was judged to be the best effort in the agronomic crops division student poster contest. She also presented a paper on the effect of vernalization (over-wintering) on uptake and translocation of two herbicides in rush skeletonweed. The paper, and her presentation of it, won first place in the pasture and rangeland division student paper contest.
“ARCS Foundation has impacted my studies here at WSU by allowing me to focus fully on my academics and research, which has provided me with the ability to take on several lines of research,” Burke said.
Burke’s Ph.D. dissertation work aims to keep our food economy running at full capacity, maintaining and improving our ability to feed ourselves and the world. Her dissertation topic focuses on developing effective and efficient screening procedures for a herbicide in wheat, screening for resistance to this herbicide, investigating the genetic source of the resistance in wheat, and evaluating weed control and sensitive crop damage due to the herbicide. She is also working on an additional project involving resistance to a second herbicide in wheat.
“By maintaining several lines of research, I am able to truly take advantage of the expertise of my mentors here at WSU, and hone skills in multiple areas,” she said. “Due to this, my work is cross-disciplinary and has allowed me to become well versed in the skills necessary to conduct research in the field, greenhouse, and the lab.”