Grad Student Committee

The Graduate student committee works to serve the grad student population of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. 

Every year the Grad Student Committee plans sessions just for grad students. Check the Grad Student-specific events planned for this year's Annual Meetings in Tampa.


Interested in Joining the Grad Student Committee?


For the Soils Grad committee:

Contact the 2017 Chair, Rachel Owen



For the Agronomy, Crops, and Soils Grad committee:

Contact the 2017 Chair, Avjinder Kaler


Meet a few of the outstanding members of our Grad Student Committee!



ASA Feature Student
Danielle Cooney, M.S. Student
University of Illinois

I am a second year master’s student who is passionate about improving the lives of others through agriculture. My thesis is focused on studying native perennial grasses grown under marginal conditions, and to understand the capabilities for high biomass production and ecosystem services. In order to achieve this goal I am analyzing the potential of these crops for nutrient removal of excess Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium with high biomass production under marginal conditions. This work is creating a strong foundation of knowledge that will lead to a quality sustainable renewable resource for future energy demands. I have had an awesome experience creating opportunities for our graduate student community by serving on the ACS Graduate Committee through my role as a graduate student representative on the ASA board of directors. 



CSSA Feature Student
Chrissie Segars, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Crop Science, Oklahoma State University

My PhD research focused on bermudagrass sod production characteristics and the effects of athletic field paint on turfgrass health. It is my hope that the results of this research will aid our industry in improving turfgrass quality and lowering input costs so that we may have a safe and manageable playing surface for our athletes and children to play on no matter what level. I have recently taken a job as an Assistant Professor of Plant and Soil Science at the University of Tennessee at Martin and hope to continue working on sports turf research so that we can understand the true impacts of our management practices and provide the safest playing surface possible for athletes of all ages. I hope to leave a legacy as someone that left it all out on the field and made a positive impact for turf managers and athletes all around the world. I am so happy to have served on the graduate committee for the ACS societies and have thoroughly enjoyed meeting other graduate students that have the same interest in making a positive difference for our changing world.



SSSA Feature Student
Leo Bastos, Ph.D. Candidate
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

I’m a PhD candidate in Soil Fertility/Precision Agriculture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before arriving in Nebraska, I received a B.S. in Agronomy from the Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil and a M.S. in Soil Microbiology from Kansas State University. Since my undergraduate years, I always had an interest for nitrogen fertilizer management, as it is one of the most demanded nutrients by plants yet very dynamic and difficult to manage on the field. My current research has three main goals. The first is to assess when, where and how stabilized nitrogen fertilizers can help in reducing losses to the environment while increasing farm profitability. The second is to compare different types of crop canopy sensors in assessing nitrogen deficiency and utilize this information to derive variable rate nitrogen application in corn. The third is to combine crop canopy sensor data with crop models in order to better predict nitrogen dynamics throughout the growing season. Properly managing nitrogen fertilizer in agriculture will become increasingly important as we strive for sustainable cropping systems to meet the demands of a growing population. I plan to continue building my career around nitrogen management research and be part of the solution for sustainable agriculture as it relates to plant nutrition. 


View all Current Members of the Grad Student Committee.

Each member of the committee serves on 1-2 of the following subcommittees: 

Leadership Conference Career Paths Session Elevator Speech Contest
Think Tank Session Networking Session Communicating Science Workshop
Website CSA News Editing Webinars