West Texas A&M University

Buff Transit Tracker

Dec. 13, 2017

CONTACT:    Dr. Bonnie Pendleton, 806-651-2554, bpendleton@wtamu.edu
                      Dr. Brock Blaser, 806-651-2555, bblaser@wtamu.edu

COPY BY:     Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

WTAMU Students Place in Poster Presentation Competitions


CANYON, Texas—Three students representing the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences at West Texas A&M University received high accolades for poster presentations at competitions for the Entomological Society of America and the Texas Plant Protection Association.

Ethan Triplet, a junior plant, soil and environmental science major from Canyon, earned first-place honors for his research poster at the recent national meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Denver. His winning poster was titled “Effect of photoperiod on sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari, on sorghum. Dr. Bonnie Pendleton, professor of integrated pest management, supervised Triplet’s research.

“The biology of the sugarcane aphid that became a devastating pest of sorghum in North America in 2013 is not well known,” Pendleton said. “Ethan did an excellent research rearing and daily evaluating fecundity and longevity of the tiny aphids—especially fecundity that ranged from 52 to 86 nymphs per aphid differed significantly by photoperiod. The effect of photoperiod needs to be considered in our evaluation of hundreds of sorghums being developed for resistance to sugarcane aphids.”

Two WTAMU graduate students presented posters at the Texas Plant Protection Association’s annual conference in Bryan. They were the only two students in the competition not from Texas A&M University. Zane Jenkins, a graduate student in plant, soil and environmental science from Campo, Colo., placed second in the master’s category with his poster, “Effects of Planting Date and Hybrid on Infestation Level Sugarcane Aphids and Drought Tolerance in Dryland Grain Sorghum. He won a $100 prize. Faculty advisers for Jenkins are Dr. Bob Stewart, director of the Dryland Agriculture Institute, and Dr. Qingwu Xue with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center.

Fellow classmate Aislinn Walton, a graduate student in plant, soil and environment science from Lubbock, placed third in the competition with her poster, “Quantification of Water and Nutrient Use by Invasive Weed Species in Limited Irrigated Corn Production Systems to Optimize Water Use Efficiencies and Economic Returns.” She won $75 for the third-place finish. Her co-advisers are Dr. Brock Blaser, associate professor of plant science, and Dr. Jourdan Bell with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center.

Poster competitions give students an opportunity to share research findings while perfecting oral presentation skills. Students often use the experience to help build professional vitae.