Brenda Ortiz was awarded 3rd place and a cash prize of $100.00 in the Engineering Student Paper Competition at the 2008 Beltwide Cotton Conferences held January 8-11, 2008 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Her paper was titled "Cotton Yield Response to Variable Rate Nematicides According to Risk Zones."

Ortiz, a native of Colombia, is a PhD graduate student working with Dr. George Vellidis, professor in the department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering. Ortiz also collaborates with Calvin Perry (UGA) and Dana Sullivan (USDA).

The Beltwide Cotton Conferences, coordinated by the National Cotton Council (NCC) and its cooperating partners, is recognized as the global champion for cotton technology transfer. Three days of individual reports, panel discussions, hands-on workshops and seminars are designed to enlighten industry members about the latest research developments and their practical applications in cotton production and processing.


Andrew Mehring, an Ecology Ph.D. student working with Drs. George Vellidis, Catherine Pringle, and Richard Lowrance won first place with his presentation at the Odum School of Ecology’s 14th Annual Graduate Student Symposium held 18-19 January, 2008. Andrew’s presentation was titled “Floodplain forests and oxygen demand in blackwater streams: Differential effects of leaf litter species” and highlighted the research he has been conducting in the swamps of the Little River near Tifton. Thirty-five presentations were made during the symposium. CLICK HERE to view the symposium program.

Andrew also served as the Symposium’s Program Committee co-chair. In the photo, Andrew (center), fellow Ph.D. student Jason Todd (left) and Dr. Kevin Kuehn (right), a member of Andrew’s committee from the University of Southern Mississippi, visit one of the sites where Andrew is conducting his research.


Jason Todd, an Ecology Ph.D. student working with Drs. George Vellidis, Catherine Pringle, and Richard Lowrance, attended the Floodplain Ecosystem Symposium in Little Rock, AR from March 4-6, 2008 . The goal of this symposium was to integrate science into the restoration and management of floodplain ecosystems in the southeastern US.  To that end, the conference brought together researchers, nonprofits, managers, and economists to present their work and discuss how to go about preserving and restoring this varied and valuable resource. 

Jason presented a paper entitled "Low dissolved oxygen levels in Georgia
floodplain swamps: Effect of sediment oxygen demand."  Following the
conference, he was invited to write a paper concerning his talk for submission
into a special issue of the journal Wetlands.  To that end, he has submitted
a section of his dissertation research entitled "Measurement of sediment
oxygen demand within an instream swamp in the coastal plain of Georgia: Role
on dissolved oxygen dynamics" there for review.


UGA hosted the S1018 Southern Regional Project meeting at NESPAL, Sept. 3-5. About 30 SE researchers reviewed progress on irrigation research & extension for the country's humid region.


GA governor, Sonny Perdue, attends SE Bioenergy Conf.

October 2, 10 am:

Brenda Ortiz's dissertation defense; BAE Conference Rm.

Ye (Juliet) Chu and co-authors Laura Ramos, Corley Holbrook, and Peggy Ozias-Akins received the Bailey Award at the annual meeting of the American Peanut Research and Education Society for the presentation and paper entitled “Development of Molecular Markers to Facilitate Pyramiding Genetic Traits in Peanut Cultivars.”


Calvin Perry, long-term member of NESPAL, has moved from the Tifton Campus to become the Superintendent of the Stripling Irrigation Research Park.


(L-R): Jason Todd, George Vellidis, Brenda Ortiz.Two Tifton Campus Ph.D. students graduated on Dec 19, 2008.  Brenda Ortiz received her Ph.D. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering and Jason Todd received his Ph.D. in Ecology.
Brenda Ortiz worked with George Vellidis, Calvin Perry, Dana Sullivan, Richard Davis, John Beasley, and Bob Kemerait on using soil electrical conductivity to develop management zones for root knot nematode.  Brenda is now an Assistant Professor of Agronomy and Soils at Auburn University.  Jason Todd worked with George Vellidis, Richard Lowrance, and David Bosch on quantifying the effect of large in-stream swamps on dissolved oxygen.  Jason will be starting a post-doc at Princeton University in February.