Skip to:

GRI Graduate Student Honored by the ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Organization

December 5, 2023

Zihan Li
Zihan Li
Zihan Li, an MSU Agronomy doctoral student conducting research at MSU's Geosystems Research Institute, received international recognition at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science of America and the Social Science of America's 2023 international annual meeting. Li was recognized with a second-place award for her work and presentation titled, "Cover Crops Effects on Nitrous Oxide Flux During Growing Season in the Mississippi Corn Cropping System."

Soil scientists from around the world who judged the competition noted that Li's research inspires change in agronomy, crop and soil sciences to impact scientific achievement. The group made up of leaders from industry, government agencies and academic institutions gather each year to explore and share advances in agronomic, crop and soil sciences.

Yuchuan Fan, vice leader of the Soil and Water Management Professionals Community said, "Zihan's research and presentation is a remarkable contribution to the agronomic and soil science community because it offers knowledge of new and innovative ways to tackle the issues researchers face every day. Zihan's work and innovative ideas will support and advance future research; her work is outstanding and truly deserving of recognition."

The annual international meeting hosted by the ASA, CSSA, SSA in St. Louis, Missouri, acknowledged Li's research as insightful, innovative and the first study considering cash crop effects on soil nitrous oxide (N2O) flux in agricultural systems within the U.S. southeastern region. The research is significant because cover crops effects on N2O flux are unclear, and N2O is a potent greenhouse gas with 298 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

Zihan's research is part of the "Advancement of Uncrewed Autonomous Systems/Uncrewed Autonomous Vehicle Applications Systems Study," a collaborative partnership between the USDA Agriculture Research Service division and Mississippi State University. It is led by Li's adviser Jing Hu, an MSU assistant research professor, Robert Moorhead, director of GRI and Joby Prince Czarnecki, an associate research professor and Sathish Samiappan, an associate research professor with GRI.

Hu said "When advising and working with Zihan it isn't surprising to me that she is extremely intelligent, hardworking and has a drive and initiative that is inspiring and that naturally becomes evident in her work that has earned international recognition. Her research provides Mississippi an important long-run perspective on the issues that we face day-to-day and the N2O effects on the agricultural environment in the southeastern U.S."

This research is supported in part by a non-assisted agreement cooperative agreement #58-6064-9-007, between the USDA-ARS and Mississippi State University. For more information on this research please contact Zihan Li at and Jing Hu at

Graphic Designed by Zihan Li
Graphic Designed by Zihan Li

The MSU Geosystems Research Institute was established in 2000, and is a collaborative of academic scientists, engineers, and government and industry stakeholders active in conducting research to advance knowledge and practice in earth and its systems to improve policy and public awareness.

The American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America jointly host the premier gathering of ideas, solutions and innovation from across the field of environmental sciences. The annual meeting is equal parts science, networking, collaboration, and camaraderie.

By Diane L. Godwin