GRI Researchers Win Big at Two Invasive Plant Conferences

Geosystems Research Institute
July 25, 2007


Two graduate students and one professor won a grant, a scholarship and presentation awards at international and regional aquatic plant meetings July 15-18. The monetary awards totaled $61,500.

The researchers competed in various facets at the 47th annual meeting of the Aquatic Plant Management Society and the 26th annual meeting of the MidSouth Aquatic Plant Management Society. These two meetings were held concurrently in Nashville, Tenn., at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

In the international society meeting, graduate student Ryan Wersal and assistant professor John Madsen were given the 2007-2009 Graduate Assistantship Grant. The award will pay $60,000 over a two-year period to support Wersal's stipend and some other expenses. Their proposal was chosen from a pool of nine applicants.

Wersal co-won the Graduate Student Poster contest with two other students. Among the eight entrants, MSU graduate students Joshua Cheshier, Katya Kovalenko, Heather Theel and Wilfredo Robles also participated. All are students supported by GRI funding.

Wersal also came in third out of thirteen in the Graduate Student Oral Presentation contest. Cheshier, Kovalenko, Theel and Robles also participated.

In the MidSouth Aquatic Plant Management Society meeting, MSU graduate students also won recognition.

Robles won the 2007 Graduate Student Scholarship from a pool of three students. The award includes $1,500 and a certificate from the society.

Members of the society elected Madsen as the President-Elect and Wersal as the Newsletter Editor. These positions include membership on the Board of Directors.

The Aquatic Plant Management Society is an organization of scientists, students, commercial pesticide applicators and interested individuals that shares and encourages research on the biological, mechanical and chemical management of aquatic plant species. The MidSouth Plant Management Society is one of eight regional chapters. For more information, please contact John Madsen, Ph.D., at jmadsen@gri.msstate.edu.

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