Department  of
Plant  and  Soil  Science



Welcome to the PSS Newsletter!

It has been a weird and wild few months, but that hasn't stopped the Department of Plant and Soil Science here at TTU from taking care of business. PSS faculty, staff, and students have still been
conducting groundbreaking research, winning awards,
and making moves across the industry.

For ongoing coverage of department news and access to an archive of past Newsletters, check out the PSS Newsroom online.

Visit the Newsroom


U.S. Farm Report episode highlights FBRI cotton research

Every year, the U.S. Farm Report – a source of agriculture industry news – hosts a televised College Roadshow series that travels to agricultural schools across the nation. In September the show visited Texas Tech University, highlighting research by Noureddine Abidi focusing on the conversion of low-grade cotton fibers into cellulose and forming biodegradable, plant-based plastics.    Read more...

New TTUS research consortium taps Abidi’s fiber expertise for disease control potential

The TTUS Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases Research Center is a developing research initiative which aims to study the interplay and transmissibility of zoonotic diseases. Noureddine Abidi’s research expertise in physical and chemical characterization techniques of biopolymers could contribute to the Center’s understanding of the potential antimicrobial properties of different fibers.    Read more...

High Plains Journal features Chuck West's research on alfalfa as a low-water crop

The High Plains Journal article highlights Chuck West’s work on grazing alfalfa in mixture with grasses. It explores the potential of interseeding alfalfa with grass pasture in order to tap into the benefits of alfalfa’s high nutritive value and nitrogen fixing capacity while still maintaining a low-water input grazing crop.    Read more...

Study on water-saving forage crops for Texas livestock

A study by PSS researchers Bishwoyog Bhattarai, Sukhbir Singh, Charles West, Glen Ritchie, and Calvin Trostle was published in the national research journal Crop Science and subsequently highlighted on SCIENMAG. The study - "Effect of deficit irrigation on physiology and forage yield of forage sorghum, pearl millet, and corn" - investigates the potential of sorghum and pearl millet as more water-efficient alternatives to corn for livestock forage.    Read more...

PSS faculty conduct research on the effects of therapeutic horticulture for veterans

Military veterans are needed to participate in a research study to gather knowledge about landscape design elements and their effects. Participants will complete a short survey, and will be given an opportunity to sign up for horticulture workshops as well as a virtual reality therapeutic landscape study. For more information, visit the survey website or contact Catherine Simpson or Alicia Thomas.    Read more...


Members of PSS faculty and staff were honored in annual CASNR awards

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources faculty meetings might have been held virtually this year, but the unconventional setting didn't prevent the college from honoring nine faculty and staff members for their service and support. Among those recognized were three PSS members: Peter Dotray, Noureddine Abidi, and Khawar Arain.    Read more...

Philip Brown’s years of dedication are recognized with the 2020 Chancellor's Award of Excellence

The Chancellor's Award of Excellence is the highest honor that a staff member can receive for their dedication to the Texas Tech community. Nominated for the award by Chuck West, Philip Brown has served three consecutive Thornton Chair forage programs in the Department of Plant and Soil Science in his 30-plus year tenure as senior research associate.    Read more...

De los Reyes is selected as the CASNR nominee for the 2021 Barnie E. Rushing, Jr. Award

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources has selected Benildo de los Reyes as its nominee for the 2021 Barnie E. Rushing, Jr. Distinguished Research Award. The award recognizes excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activity.    Read more...

Award-winning crop science paper authored by PSS grad and CASNR professors

The Crop Science Society of America has selected a paper written by Madhav Dhakal, a 2019 Plant and Soil Science Ph.D. recipient, along with professors Charles West and Carlos Villalobos as the winning submission for their Outstanding Paper in Forage and Grazinglands Award. The award recognizes the scientific merit, innovation, and industry relevance of the work, titled "Establishment and Stand Development of Alfalfa Interseeded into Native Grass Mixtures: Cultivar and Row Spacing Effects".    Read more...

National travel scholarship has been awarded to PSS graduate student Delaney Foster

The Weed Science Society of America has selected the winners of its 2020 Travel Enrichment Experience (TEE) awards, and Delaney Foster – a graduate student in the Department of Plant and Soil Science – is among the honorees. The TEE award provides select graduate student members of the Weed Science Society of America with an opportunity to visit and learn from weed scientists outside of their home region via a five-day educational experience.    Read more...


- Son Tran joined the Institute of Genomics for Crop Abiotic Stress Tolerance (IGCAST) group as a professor and researcher.  Learn more about Dr. Tran and his work...

- PSS faculty members Katie Lewis, Scott Longing, and Joey Young earned promotion to Associate Professorships.  Read more about the step up...

- Eric Hequet was elected to the executive committee of the International Cotton Researchers Association.  Check out the ICRA's mission...

- The Texas Alliance for Water Conservation hosted its Annual TAWC Field Day virtually this year.  Visit the Virtual Field Day...

- The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources released a Strategic Plan outlining its five-year teaching, research, and outreach goals.  See the plan...

- August 2020 department graduates:
Receiving a Doctor of Philosophy in Plant and Soil Science were Zachary B. Hinds, Kathryn Lindsay Radicke, Amede Rubio, Md Abu Sayeed, and Gondah Moses Zolue.
Receiving a Master of Science in Plant and Soil Science were Brice Michael DeLong, Md. Tanjim Hossain, and Cole Landon VonOhlen.
Receiving a Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science were Heath Ransom Bell and Jacob Troy Richburg.  View the Summer 2020 Commencement program...

What are we missing?

Have an exciting announcement, research development,
publication, or upcoming event? We want to hear about it!

If you have any questions, corrections, or contributions
regarding the PSS Newsletter or online Newsroom,
please contact Melanie Jackson at

Contact Us

Department  of  Plant  and  Soil  Science

JUL | AUG | SEP 2020

Texas Tech University, Department of Plant and Soil Science
Box 42122
Lubbock, TX 79409

806 _ 742 _ 2838

Nov 5, 2020