LSU College of Agriculture Department Updates
The LSU College of Agriculture comprises 10 departments and schools that house many prestigious faculty and promising students. While 2020 presented many unexpected challenges, our faculty and students continued to achieve excellence. Many attended conferences and events remotely and continued to function as teams from a distance.
Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
- In December 2019, graduate student Whitney McKinzie became the first agribusiness university medalist in the department's modern history.
- In spring 2020, undergraduate enrollment increased 13% over the same enrollment from spring 2019.
- Brianna Cobb, an undergraduate student, received the Wilbert and Sons research internship.
- She was a lead author on a research paper titled Farmer Awareness of Sustainable Forest Initiatives. It was presented at the Annual Meetings of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA) in February 2020.
- Professor Krishna Paudel completed his service as president of SAEA for 2019-20.
- Professor Matt Fannin completed his service as president of the Southern Regional Science Association (SRSA).
- Naveen Adusumilli, was promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure.
Department of Agricultural & Extension Education & Evaluation
- LSU AEEE faculty recently received grant funding to launch a professional development
program for agriculture teachers in Louisiana.
- Associate professor Kristin Stair, who served as primary investigator for the grant along with assistant professor Richie Roberts and associate professor Joey Blackburn, received $267,020 through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Program from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
- This program will select and train a group of agriculture teacher ambassadors to integrate biotechnology and environmental and coastal science into the Louisiana agritechnology curriculum.
- This two-year program is expected to provide teachers with professional development support and help high school students in Louisiana earn the agritechnology credential available through the course.
School of Animal Sciences
- The School of Animal Sciences had a group of students who participated in the American Society of Animal Science Southern Regional Academic Quadrathlon in February.
- Nicholas Uzee was announced as 2020 recipient of The Genevieve Christen Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award.
- Zongliang “Carl” Jiang, assistant professor, submitted seven research grants equivalent
to approximately $1.17 million in federal and state funds.
Ken Bondioli, professor, was the primary investigator for two grants funding Oocyte vitrification and was a co-primary investigator with Carl Jiang for grant for research in epigenetics and embryo development.
- Diana Coulon, instructor and attending veterinary with AgCenter Biotechnology Laboratory, collaborated with Michael Keenan and Jack Losso, professors in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, on several federal and private industry grants submissions.
- Diana Coulon also assisted with alligator research projects at the LSU AgCenter Aquaculture Research Station.
- Xing Fu, assistant professor, secured funding for two grants (LA BOR RCS, NIH R15 grant).
- Richard Cooper, professor, received the LIFT grant funded on DNA vaccines.
Department of Entomology
- Daniel Swale and Rodrigo Diaz will be promoted to associate professor effective July 1.
- Assistant professor Daniel Swale received two prestigious USDA-NIFA grants this past
- Novel ways to plug the bug: Unraveling the role of hemipteran Kir channels in feeding and plant pathogen transmission.
- Physiological and toxicological relevance of potassium ion channels and reactive oxygen species to honey bee health.
Department of Experimental Statistics
- Associate professor Bin Li was awarded a grant from International Faculty Outreach to provide a weeklong lecture series at the Indian Institutes of Technology on Machine Learning Applications in Agriculture.
- Professor and graduate advisor Brian Marx published a textbook with Springer Publishing titled Regression: Models, Methods and Applications.
School of Nutrition & Food Sciences
- Sharman Charles, director of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), led and coordinated the program’s 50th anniversary activities for Louisiana.
- Erin McKinley, assistant professor and director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics, was elected president of the Baton Rouge Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and served as a board member for the group.
- Joan King, professor and undergraduate coordinator, was faculty sponsor and coach of the LSU International Food Technologist Students Association (IFTSA) Food Science College Bowl team that placed third in the IFTSA national competition.
- Marlene Janes, professor in food safety; Achyut Adhikari, associate professor and extension food safety specialist; and Winnie Xu, assistant professor and consumer food safety specialist; received the USDA-NIFA National Excellence in Multistate Research Award.
- Professor Kay Aryana represented the LSU College of Agriculture in teaching at Mendel University’s International Summer School in Brno, Czech Republic.
- Professor Witoon Prinyawiwatkul was awarded the IFT Certificate of Appreciation for outstanding leadership and dedication as a member of the Host Section Activities Workgroup and co-chair of the Sessions Committee for the 2019 Annual Meeting and Food Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- Professor Subramaniam Sathivel was honored as the keynote speaker for the first RMUTT Food Innovation and Smart Farm International Conference at the Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi in Pathum Thani, Thailand.
School of Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences
- Lisa Fultz was promoted to associate professor. Her area of expertise is soil microbiology, and she works in the area of sustainability and enhancement of soils. Along with co-investigators she received a Taylor Foundation Grant to develop innovative production practices that help conserve our land and improve productivity on farms.
- Professor David Picha received the Distinguished Service Award for 2020 from the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD).
- Eric Webster, F. Avalon Daggett Professor and assistant regional director for the LSU AgCenter, serves as the 2020 President of the Southern Weed Science Society (SWSS).
- Sam Rustom, doctoral student, won first place in the Ph.D. Oral Presentation Contest, and Connor Webster, doctoral student, placed second in the Ph.D. Oral Presentation Contest with the SWSS.
Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology
- Two faculty members, Edward McGawley and Charles Overstreet, retired. Fortunately, the department was allowed to refill a combined position, and Tristan Watson accepted this position and started as an assistant professor in spring 2020.
- Faculty and students published a number of refereed manuscripts and extension articles; gave many presentations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally; and competed for grants to support their research and outreach.
- Professor Chris Clark received the National Sweet Potato Research Impact Award.
- Professor Boyd Padgett was the invited American Phytopathological Society (APS) plenary speaker and was awarded the LSU AgCenter Extension Award.
- Professor Jeff Hoy received the LSU AgCenter’s Tipton Team Research Award for Sugarcane Varietal Development.
- Raj Singh, associate professor and director of the LSU AgCenter Plant Diagnostic Clinic, received the APS Extension Recognition — A Day in the Life.
- Graduate student, Myra Purvis received the Soybean Disease Workers second place in student oral presentation.
- Graduate student, Ateet Maharjan, was awarded the LACA Scholarship and Cal Agri Products Student Support Award.
- Teddy Garcia-Aroca, graduate student, received the Ray and Dorothy Young Assistantship.
- Yenjit Raruang, graduate student, received the C. W. Edgerton Award.
- Waana Kaluwasha, graduate student, received the Southern Region SARE grant and Weston J. Martin Fellowship Award.
School of Renewable Natural Resources
- Kevin Ringelman, assistant professor, was awarded the Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award.
- Richard Vlosky, professor, was awarded the Forest Products Society’s Gottschalk Award for lifetime contributions to the society.
- Sabrina Taylor, associate professor, was elected as a fellow to the American Ornithological Society.
- Sabrina Taylor received the Sedberry Graduate Teacher Award.
- Sabrina Taylor was recognized for the Louisiana Agriculture magazine Article of the Year.
- The Tiger Chapter of Ducks Unlimited was named the National Champion Chapter for the second year in a row.
- Tom Dean, professor, was an invited speaker at the Chinese Academy of Forestry in Beijing and the International Union of Forest Researchers in Brazil.
- Philip Stouffer, professor, was named the editor-in-chief for leading ornithological journal The Condor: Ornithological Applications.
- Philip Stouffer received the Peter R. Stettenheim Service Award from the American Ornithological Society.
- Sun Joseph Chang, professor, was the keynote speaker at the sixth International Faustmann Symposium.
- Professor Terrence Tiersch co-authored a national summary of animal genetic resources for the USDA National Genetic Resources Advisory Council titled Strengthening Strategic
- Genetic Resources for Livestock, Poultry and Aquatic Species in the United States. This report provided recommendations to the U.S. secretary of agriculture.
Department of Textiles, Apparel Design & Merchandising
- Sibei Xia was hired as a new assistant professor in the Department of Textiles, Apparel Design & Merchandising, in the fall of 2019.
- Casey Stannard was promoted to associate professor with tenure in August and completed the LSU Online Teaching training during the summer of 2019.
- Casey Stannard developed a new course for the department to be taught entirely online on the social psychology of apparel and textiles (TAM 1100 Fashion and Society).
- Donna Sapp, undergraduate coordinator and instructor, was a recipient of a Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award for the College of Agriculture in the spring semester.