Faculty, Staff and Students attend Mississippi Academy of Sciences Meeting

Faculty, staff and students from the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences Department of Agriculture attended the 81st Mississippi Academy of Sciences meeting held February 23-24, 2017 in the Thad Cochran Center, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

According to Dr. Victor Njiti, associate professor and interim chair, Department of Agriculture, and chair of the MAS Agriculture and Plant Science Division, the main purpose of MAS is to bring together scientists and academia from all fields of science throughout the state of Mississippi to present and share ideas that will foster the growth of science within the state.

In addition to Njiti, other faculty attendees were Drs. Patrick Igbokwe, Ananda Nanjundaswamy, Girish K. S. Panicker, and Yan Meng, student advisers; and Franklin Chukwuma and Lashunda Anderson Hodges, presenters.

Both undergraduate and graduate students attended the meeting.

Undergraduate attendees were, Lydia Batey, junior; Destiney Crockett, senior; Michael Finley, junior; Rebecca Becker, senior, Roderick Patterson, senior, all agricultural science majors. Graduate attendees were, Jasmine Wheatley, biotechnology; Mario Martinez, Segbefia Worlanyo, and Gerard Winters, all agronomy majors.

Four students from the Department of Agriculture were recognized for their outstanding performances. Martinez and Becker will receive a one-year complimentary membership for being selected in the top 20 percent of statewide presentations. Crockett and Batey tied for first place in the oral presentation category of the Agriculture and Plant Science Division.

Student presenters were:

  • Mario Martinez, had the prestigious opportunity to compete for one of the top five graduate presentations among all science divisions in the state of Mississippi. Martinez won first place, with a cash prize of $250 and a certificate. His project was titled, “Organic Manures on Quality and Yield of Exotic and Indigenous Melons.” Panicker served as student adviser.
  • Rebecca Becker won second place for her oral presentation in the Agriculture and Plant Science Division. Her presentation was titled, “Plant Density Effect on Biomass Development and Rate of Residue Decomposition of Four Varieties of Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) on Natchez Silt Loam.” The research was done in collaboration with the United States Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Panicker served as student adviser.
  • Destiney Crockett’s presentation was titled, “Red Yeast Fermentation of Sweet Potato for High Carotenoid Production.” Chukwuma, Nanjundaswamy, Njiti and Dr. Qun Xia served as student advisers.
  • Lydia Batey’s presentation was titled, “Variation in Total Carotenoid and B-Carotene in Storage Root of Sweet Potato Hybrids.” Nanjundaswamy, Njiti, Xia, and Chukwuma served as student advisers.

Dr. Njiti, presided over the MAS presentations and business meetings.

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