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UW Students, Faculty Win Western Society of Weed Science Honors

University of Wyoming students won a bevy of research honors during the recent Western Society of Weed Science (WSWS) meeting in Newport Beach, Calif.

Additionally, UW Professor Andrew Kniss, head of the Department of Plant Sciences, was honored as a WSWS Fellow for meritorious service to the organization.

Competing against students at institutions across the western U.S. and several Canadian provinces, the UW students — all in the Department of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources — came away with several first- and second-place awards.

“The success of UW students garnering awards at this meeting shows the strength of our graduate program in plant science, specifically weed science, at a national level,” says College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Barbara Rasco. “Kudos to these students and to Dr. Kniss.”

In the Master of Science section in agronomy, Tyler Hicks, of Fort Collins, Colo., took first place for his oral presentation, while Ryan Johnson, of Torrington, was second.

Joe Ballenger, a graduate student from Ankeny, Iowa, took first place for his oral presentation in the basic biology and ecology category.

Chloe Mattilio, a graduate student from Willow Street, Pa., won first place for her oral presentation in the “range, forestry, natural areas” category, while Jodie Crose, a graduate student from Oologah, Okla., was second.

Crose also received the Elena Sanchez and Rita Beard memorial scholarships, which support outstanding students and early career invasive species managers.

“Our students represented themselves and UW very well at this meeting,” says Associate Professor Brian Mealor, director of UW’s Sheridan Research and Extension Center. “I’m also pleased to see Andrew receive one of the highest honors awarded by WSWS, to which he has committed significant effort and time through the years.”

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