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Sterling B. Hendricks Memorial Lecture


2020 Sterling B. Hendricks Lecturer

Thomas Sparks

Thomas C. Sparks, Independent Consultant, Agrilucent, LLC

Nature Inspired - Natural Products and Crop Protection 

Natural products (NP) have long been tools to crop protection, both as a source of crop protection agents, and models and inspiration for an array of NP-based products.  A significant percentage (7%, 15%, 33%) of existing herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, respectively, have their origins in NPs from a variety of sources.  Owing to the evolving needs of agriculture and the desires of consumers, reflected in ever more stringent regulatory requirements, new pest control tools, options and approaches remain a critical need.  As such, NPs continue to be an important source of ideas and inspiration for these required new pest control solutions.  Importantly, a large proportion (~50%) of the known modes of action are defined or predicted by NPs, further highlighting their importance.  Further value from NPs is also possible through the coupling of precision delivery systems with advanced plant genetics. These and other aspects will be discussed.

Thomas Sparks Bio

2021 Call for Nominations

2021 Sterling B. Hendricks Memorial Lecture

The Agricultural Research Service is seeking nominations for the 2021 Sterling B. Hendricks Memorial Lecture. The lecture is a forum for a presentation on a scientific topic, trend, issue, or policy issue related to the chemical science of agriculture. The award includes an honorarium of $2,000, a medallion, and expenses to present the lecture.

The 2021 Award will be presented on August 21, 2021 at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, prior to the lecture. The Divisions of Agrochemicals (AGRO) and Agricultural and Food Chemistry (AGFD) co-sponsor the lecture, and in 2022, AGFD will host the lecture.

Nominees may be outstanding senior scientists in industry, university, or government positions. Current ARS employees are not eligible.

To nominate someone, please send a letter explaining the nominee’s contributions to chemistry and to agriculture and the nominee’s current curriculum vitae to

The call for nominations has now closed. 

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