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Johanns Announces Top USDA-ARS Scientists for 2005By Luis Pons
February 7, 2006
WASHINGTON, February 7, 2006—Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced Patrick G. Hunt, a USDA soil scientist based in Florence, S.C., has been named the Agricultural Research Service Distinguished Senior Research Scientist of 2005 and also recognized the seven Area Senior Research Scientists of 2005.
"We lead the world in innovation, in part through the impressive record of accomplishment of the scientists at the Agricultural Research Service that we celebrate today," said Johanns. "Your scientific discoveries provide solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from the field to the dinner table and help to sustain a competitive agricultural economy."
Johanns recognized Hunt and other ARS scientists at an awards ceremony today. Hunt, who works at the ARS Coastal Plains Soil, Water and Plant Research Center in Florence, was honored for his scientific research and exemplary leadership in managing nutrients and wastes in agricultural and environmental systems.
"For 35 years, Patrick Hunt has conducted high-quality, innovative research for the U.S. government in multiple areas of science and technology," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling. "High on his list of achievements is his contribution to balancing the protection of the environment with the production needs of small- and large-scale agriculture. His work on the management of waste and wastewater associated with municipalities and livestock operations can only be classified as landmark scientific research."
Hunt has also made significant discoveries pertaining to oil-spill recovery, photobiology and colored-mulch technology. His research has been published in more than 200 technical publications and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. (More about Hunt's research)
ARS also recognized seven "Area Senior Research Scientists of 2005." They are:
- Beltsville Area—Robert J. Wall, animal physiologist, ARS Biotechnology and Germplasm Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., for outstanding research accomplishments in the introduction of recombinant DNA molecules into the genome of agricultural animals. (More)
- Mid-South Area—Elaine T. Champagne, chemist, ARS Food Processing and Sensory Quality Research Unit, New Orleans, La., for vision and international leadership in developing innovative technologies to add value to, and achieve maximum use and profitability of, rice and other crops. (More)
- Midwest Area—J. Perry Gustafson, plant geneticist, ARS Plant Genetics Research Unit, Columbia, Mo., for pioneering research on the characterization and manipulation of genes and gene complexes from wild species into wheat to improve world wheat production. (More)
- North Atlantic Area—James B. Russell, microbiologist, ARS Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research Unit, Ithaca, N.Y., for performing research on ruminal fermentation that has increased the productivity, feed efficiency and food safety of the American cattle industry and decreased the impact of manure on the environment. (More)
- Northern Plains Area—Ronald F. Follett, soil scientist, ARS Soil Plant Nutrient Research Unit, Fort Collins, Colo., for developing and delivering information and tools for enhanced carbon and nitrogen management and national assessments to protect the environment. (More)
- Pacific West Area—Katherine I. O'Rourke, microbiologist, ARS Animal Diseases Research Unit, Pullman, Wash., for scientific excellence leading to implemented measures for controlling transmissible spongiform encephalopathies within North America. (More)
- Southern Plains Area—C. Jack DeLoach, entomologist, ARS Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory, Temple, Texas, for outstanding scientific investigation and program leadership in biological control of saltcedar and other invasive aquatic and rangeland weeds. (More)
ARS also presented awards to eight "Early Career Scientists of the Year" who have earned their doctorates within the past decade and have been with the agency for seven years or less. The highest of these honors is the Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist of the Year, which for 2005 was awarded to David Johnston, a research food technologist with the ARS Crop Conversion Science and Engineering Research Unit in Wyndmoor, Pa.
Johnston was honored for developing novel, environmentally sustainable biochemical and engineering processes that are improving the way corn is processed into foods and fuels around the world. He has been nominated for inclusion in the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. (More about Johnston's research)
The seven other ARS Area Early Career Scientists for 2005 honored today are:
- Beltsville Area——Dawn E. Gundersen-Rindal, molecular biologist, ARS Insect Biocontrol Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., for fundamental and applied advances in research on the agriculturally important unculturable microbes known as phytoplasmas and polydnaviruses. (More)
- Mid-South Area—Isabel M. Lima, chemist, ARS Commodity Utilization Research Unit, New Orleans, La., for collaborative research and technology transfer related to commercialization of a sunflower butter product and value-added adsorbents from animal manure. (More)
- Midwest Area—W. Ray Waters, veterinary medical officer, ARS Bacterial Diseases of Livestock Research Unit, Ames, Iowa, for outstanding contributions in the diagnosis and control of tuberculosis in livestock and wildlife. (More)
- Northern Plains Area—Justin Faris, plant geneticist, ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit, Fargo, N.D., for outstanding contributions to advance the understanding of the wheat genome through cutting-edge research in wheat genomics and molecular genetics. (More)
- Pacific West Area—Jennifer Fletcher, plant molecular geneticist, ARS Plant Gene Expression Center, Albany, Calif., for outstanding research in developmental plant genetics with far-reaching applications for crop improvement. (More)
- South Atlantic Area—Paul D. Pratt, entomologist, ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for outstanding contributions to biological control of invasive species and transfer of this technology. (More)
- Southern Plains Area—Brian E. Haggard, hydrologist, ARS Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit, Fayetteville, Ark., for outstanding research evaluating nutrient sources and transport of nutrients from the landscape through aquatic ecosystems.
ARS is USDA's chief scientific research agency.