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Department  of
Plant  and  Soil  Science



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



May 7  |  Spring Plant Sale
The PSS Spring Plant Sale will run from 10am-2pm on Saturday May 7th at the TTU Greenhouse and Horticultural Gardens (3340 Main Street). There will be a variety of plants on hand, including annual and perennial color, vegetables, and succulents. Cash, checks, and credit card payments are accepted, and all proceeds will go to improving and supporting the educational work carried out in the gardens and greenhouses. learn more »

May 7  |  Community Garden Volunteer Day
The Heart of Lubbock Community Garden is hosting a workday this Saturday, May 7th from 12pm-2pm. Any and all volunteers are welcome to come out and get their hands dirty building raised planting beds. (Don't forget to bring water and sun protection!) learn more »

May 13  |  PSS Coffee Break
Don't forget to stop through the PSS main office on Friday morning (8:30-10am) for coffee, tea, orange juice, donuts (or whichever pastries we dream up), and an opportunity to visit and get to know our department better!

May 13-14  |  TTU May 2022 Commencement
Texas Tech University's May 2022 Commencement Ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 13th and Saturday, May 14th in the United Supermarkets Arena. learn more »


Jagadish joins PSS as the new Thornton Distinguished Chair

Krishna Jagadish, a noted crop physiologist from Kansas State University, has been named the new Thornton Distinguished Chair and Professor of Forage Science in Texas Tech University's Department of Plant & Soil Science. He will be the Director of the Texas Coalition for Sustainable Integrated Systems Research Program (TeCSIS) and Coordinator of the Texas Alliance for Water Conservation (TAWC). Jagadish officially stepped into his new research and teaching role on March 15.


PSS faculty members approved for promotion & tenure

In February, three Plant and Soil Science faculty members were approved for promotions by the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents:

- Thayne Montague, Promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor

- Wenxuan Guo, Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with Tenure

- Lindsey Slaughter, Promotion from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with Tenure


PSS researchers developing novel method to help High Plains growers protect their vineyards

The hot, dry, and windy conditions of the High Plains can carry herbicides miles from the application site, and for perennial species such as grapes, this potential volatility and drift exposure may affect plant productivity and yield for many years. With support from a recent $117,552 grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture, researchers from the TTU Department of Plant and Soil Science are hoping to help.


High-impact publication explores a more efficient future

As practical and financial water restrictions loom — particularly in arid and semi-arid regions — it's becoming critical for growers to find an informed balance between the costs of irrigation and reduced crop yield. To that end, a recent meta-analysis study in Dr. Sukhbir Singh's lab evaluated the effects of deficit irrigation strategies to provide an estimate of yield and water productivity responses under a variety of conditions. The study, “A global meta-analysis of yield and water productivity responses of vegetables to deficit irrigation”, was conducted by Manpreet Singh, Paramveer Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Rupinder Kaur Saini, and Sangamesh Angadi. Significantly, the meta-analysis was published in Scientific Reports, a high-impact journal in the Nature Portfolio.


Simpson lab attends inaugural TNLA Lone Star Hort Forum

Students from Catherine Simpson's Urban Horticulture and Sustainability Lab Group attended the inaugural Texas Nursery and Landscape Association (TNLA) Lone Star Hort Forum, which was held in College Station on Jan. 10-12. Catherine Simpson, Vikram Baliga, Alicia Thomas, Kamron Newberry, Jonah Trevino, Abishkar Regmi, Aqeela Sehrish, Shivani Kathi, Emily Stamm, Savannah Cognasi, and Gretchen Plocek represented Texas Tech at the event, with all of the students presenting their research.


TTU Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement program selects 3rd cohort

Plant and Soil Science students Sara Garcia of Houston, Texas and Blake Mills of Center Point, Texas were among the 14 undergraduates from the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources selected for the third cohort of the Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement (MILE) Program. MILE is a three-semester leadership and professional development program which uses industry engagement, networking, leadership curriculum, and travel experiences to give students a competitive edge when entering the agricultural workforce. The MILE experience includes both on- and off-campus workshops and tours as well as trips to Austin and Washington, D.C. to meet with government representatives about agriculture and public policy.



Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award goes to Dotray

A strong commitment to teaching has garnered Peter Dotray a 2022 Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award, one of the highest faculty honors in the university system. The award recognizes those who demonstrate excellence in teaching, service to the teaching profession, service to students, professional growth and scholarly activity. Dotray was also profiled by Allen Ramsey in Texas Tech Today in recognition of the achievement.


Maureen Qualia honored with 2022 Bunny Becker Award

In recognition of her work in the Texas wine industry, PSS enology lecturer Maureen Qualia was recently honored with the 2022 Bunny Becker Women in Wine Award. The award — established in honor of the late Bunny Becker, a celebrated figure in the Texas wine world — recognizes a woman working to enhance Texas enology and viticulture who embodies the values of tenacity, quality, graciousness, and dogged work ethic.


SWSS recognizes Dotray and Foster

At the 2022 Southern Weed Science Society (SWSS) Annual Meeting, PSS's own Delaney Foster and Peter Dotray were each recognized for their achievements and dedication to the field of weed science. Foster was presented with the SWSS Outstanding Graduate Student Award and Dotray was honored with a SWSS Fellow Award.


Petermann wins graduate student presentation

The 59th annual Soil Survey and Land Resource Workshop was held on Feb. 9-10, and a PSS student took home the top prize in the graduate student oral presentation competition. Billi Jean Petermann — a Ph.D. student under Lindsey Slaughter — earned first place with her presentation titled “Soil Microbial Response to Long-Term Management Practices in Cotton Systems of the Semi-Arid Texas Southern High Plains”.


Newberry among Grad Research Poster Competition winners

“Our poster competition showcases the amazing research our graduate students perform that has significant and lasting impacts on society,” said Mark Sheridan, dean of the Graduate School. Among the many TTU students presenting impactful research, PSS's Kamron Newbury was awarded 2nd Place in the Math/Physical Sciences/Engineering category with his poster titled “The comparison of aeroponic and hydroponic crop production.”


PSS Junior among Davis College Dean's Scholars

The Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources recognized its 2022 Dean's Scholars in February, and Blaine Allen — a junior year plant and soil science major — was among the Silver Award winners. The awards, funded by various donations to the college, are based on academic excellence as well as leadership, character and citizenship.


PSS graduate tapped for YWCA 2022 Women of Excellence Award

Sandra Harris, a 2002 graduate of the Department of Plant & Soil Science, has garnered a Women of Excellence Award for Arts & Culture from the Young Women's Christian Association of Lubbock. The Women of Excellence Awards are presented each year to recognize and honor women in the community who have achieved career excellence and contributed to business, industry, organizations and the community.


National AHS Emerging Horticultural Professional Award goes to McKelvey

A graduate of Texas Tech University's Department of Plant & Soil Science has received the national American Horticultural Society's 2022 Emerging Horticultural Professional Award. Daria McKelvey, who received her master's degree in horticulture in 2015, was presented the honor in mid-March.


What are we missing?

Have an 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


Department  of  Plant  and  Soil  Science

JAN | FEB | MAR 2022

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

806 _ 742 _ 2838


May 6, 2022