Extension Weed Specialist with Texas Tech University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research,
and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Lubbock
Learn more about Integrated Scholar Peter Dotray in this question-and-answer session.
What are your research objectives and interests?
To better understand weed biology and ecology for the development and implementation of effective, profitable and sustainable weed management practices for crops grown on the Texas Southern High Plains.
How do you feel your research impacts the globe?
Weeds impact crop production in all geographic regions across the globe. The principles of weed ecology and management are universal. Research conducted in the semi-arid region of West Texas can be utilized in production regions across the state, country and globe.
What types of service projects have you been involved with?
As an extension weed specialist, I have the opportunity to work closely with county extension agents, crop advisors and the private sectors involved in all aspects of agriculture. We work closely together to develop programs that help producers in their weed management decisions. I am currently on the board of directors for the West Texas Agricultural Chemicals Institute and the Southern Weed Science Society.
What are you currently working on?
The hot topics in weed science today involve the development of herbicide-tolerant crops and the development of herbicide-resistant weeds. The development of herbicide-tolerant crops has created a shift in weed management programs – away from tillage and the use of soil residual herbicides, and towards an over reliance on glyphosate. Whenever a single herbicide site of action is used repeatedly without the use of other herbicide sites of action, the selection for weed resistance will occur. This is exactly what has happened over the past 15 years. Today we need to develop weed management programs that are diversified and sustainable.
Where do you find your inspiration?
From energetic students who have a strong desire to learn. From producers who are looking for an answer that will impact their bottom line each year. From colleagues who strive to make a difference.
What advice do you have for new faculty members about balancing the components of Integrated Scholarship—teaching, research, and service—in their careers?
Understand that teaching, research and service are all related activities that can work together and feed off of each other. A productive research program can lead to relevant and effective teaching. Good teaching can lead to effective service programs. And service opportunities can involve new questions that need to be researched. I strongly believe that teaching, research and service involvement are synergistic to one another.
Peter Dotray is a professor and Extension Weed Specialist with Texas Tech University, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Lubbock. He is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and received his B.S. degree in agronomy from the University of Minnesota at St. Paul and his M.S. degree in agronomy from Washington State University at Pullman. He received a Ph.D. in agronomy from the University of Minnesota and started his three-way appointment in Lubbock in 1993.
Dotray conducts weed control research in several crops including cotton, peanut, grain sorghum, corn and sesame. In addition to weed control responsibilities, Dotray serves as an Extension Weed Specialist in District 2, which contains 20 counties, about 3.5 million acres of cotton,on the Texas Southern High Plains. Dotray teaches an undergraduate course, Principles of Weed Science, and graduate level course, Mode and Mechanism of Herbicide, to on-campus students and online students each year. He has also taught a section of RaiderReady every fall semester since 1994. Dotray has served as the major advisor or co-advisor of 41 graduate students, has served on 31 graduate committees, and has six graduate students in progress. He has authored or coauthored 368 abstracts and proceedings, 65 journal articles, 183 technical publications and popular articles, seven book chapters, and has given 87 presentations at professional meetings and over 670 seminars and presentations at grower meetings.