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Department  of
Plant  and  Soil  Science



Welcome to the November Newsletter!

With Thanksgiving behind us and final exams ahead, the PSS Newsletter would like to take a moment to wish everyone the best of tidings in the upcoming month. May your holidays be happy, your research fruitful, and your immune systems effective.

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

Visit the Newsroom


Research highlighted by TTU Office of Research & Innovation and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Cotton research has been in the local spotlight lately, with articles from the TTU Office of Research, Texas Tech Today, and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal featuring impactful work done by PSS faculty, staff, and students. In the Office of Research profile, Karen Michael reviews significant contributions to the cotton industry by PSS faculty members Haydee Laza, Glen Ritchie, Wenxuan Guo, Noureddine Abidi, and Lindsey Slaughter, as well as the genetics research of Hong Zhang, a TTU biology professor. The Texas Tech Today article - which was adapted for the Sunday, November 15 Lubbock AJ - focuses on the work of Katie Lewis and Glen Ritchie, along with graduate student Irish Lorraine Pabuayon.    READ MORE >

Leslie Commey featured by Feed the Future for peanut research

Leslie Commey - biotechnology graduate student under Venugopal Mendu - was recently featured by the Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Lab. The Lab is a part of U.S. government’s strategy to address challenges to global food security through networks of researchers in the United States and abroad. Commey is currently pursuing his master’s degree and working on a Peanut Innovation Lab project to find peanut’s natural defenses against aflatoxin. The profile touches on the research and links to a virtual presentation at a recent student symposium.    READ MORE >

Alumnus of PSS in leadership role of national advisory committee

Tommy Wilkins, a 1982 graduate of Texas Tech University's Department of Plant and Soil Science, has been appointed to a two-year term as the vice chair of the national Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). Originally chartered in 2001, the 24-member FVIAC Committee advises the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the nation's fruit and vegetable industry...    READ MORE >


TTU Soil Judging has a strong showing in Region IV Collegiate Contest

Representing the TTU Soil Judging Team at the 2020 Region IV Virtual Collegiate Soil Judging Contest competition were CASNR undergraduate students Hayden Crawford, Bryanna Edwards, Rebeckah Owen, Harrison Maples, and Ava Hale and coaches Emma Schmidt, Jonah Trevino, and Lindsey Slaughter. The TTU team placed 3rd in the overall sweepstakes and 2nd in team pit judging. Additionally, three students placed in the top ten individual awards; Hayden Crawford in 5th, Bryanna Edwards in 7th, and Rebeckah Owen in 8th. Slaughter called the performance an “excellent showing” expressing her appreciation not just for the outstanding efforts of the team, but also for the flexibility it took to adapt to a new virtual format.    READ MORE >

PSS students excel at regional and international conferences

Students’ successful completion and presentation of graduate and undergraduate research demonstrates the strength of the Plant & Soil Science students, faculty, and programs. At this year’s virtual Texas Plant Conservation Conference, Kris Petterson – a 3rd Year PhD candidate in Plant and Microbial Ecology with Sharma Lab group – won Best Poster Presentation in the Student Presentation. At the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting, PSS graduate students Nathan Turner and Puneet Mangat were selected as representatives of their respective Crop Science Divisions, earning participation in the CSSA Society-Wide Graduate Student Competition. PSS graduate student Jasmine Neupane earned a 3rd place award in the ASA Student Competition. Hazzel Ramos – Microbiology major in the College of Arts and Sciences - won 1st place in the undergraduate Soils and Soil Quality Poster Competition. Her research is part of a project with PSS’s Lindsey Slaughter, Katie Lewis, and Glen Ritchie.    READ MORE >


- Final examinations: December 4th - 9th

- Grades due for graduating students: December 10th

- TTU in-person commencement: December 11th - 12th

- Final grades due: December 14th

- TTU virtual commencement: December 19th

- First day of Spring 2021 semester: January 20th

See the TTU Academic Calendar for up-to-date results.


- Delhom C.D., E.F. Hequet, B.R. Kelly, N. Abidi, and V.B. Martin. 2020. Calibration of HVI cotton elongation measurements. Journal of Cotton Research, 3(31).

- Guo, W., Chen, L., Herrera-Estrella, L., Cao, D., & Tran, L. -. P. (2020). Altering plant architecture to improve performance and resistance. Trends in Plant Science, 25(11), 1154-1170. doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2020.05.009

- Li, J., Wang, Y., Xue, X., Xie, X., Siebecker, M. G., Sparks, D. L., & Wang, Y. (2020). Mechanistic insights into iodine enrichment in groundwater during the transformation of iron minerals in aquifer sediments. Science of the Total Environment, 745 doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140922

- Liyanage, S., & Abidi, N. (2020). Fourier transform infrared applications to investigate induced biochemical changes in liver. Applied Spectroscopy Reviews, 55(9), 840-872. doi:10.1080/05704928.2019.1692307

- Mitchell-McCallister, D., Cano, A., & West, C. (2020). Meta-analysis of crop water use efficiency by irrigation system in the texas high plains. Irrigation Science, 38(5-6), 535-546. doi:10.1007/s00271-020-00696-x

- Parkash, V., & Singh, S. (2020). Potential of biochar application to mitigate salinity stress in eggplant. HortScience, 55(12), 1946-1955.

- Simpson, C. R., Gonzales, J., Enciso, J., Nelson, S. D., & Sétamou, M. (2020). Root distribution and seasonal fluctuations under different grove floor management systems in citrus. Scientia Horticulturae, 272 doi:10.1016/j.scienta.2020.109364

For a deeper cut, visit the departmental list of publications.

See more publications

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If you have any questions, corrections, or contributions
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Contact us


Department  of  Plant  and  Soil  Science


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

806 _ 742 _ 2838

Dec 4, 2020