UF/IFAS CAIP Undergrad Awarded with the 2021 – John Jachetta Undergraduate Research Award from WSSA
By Cayla Romano, UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (CAIP) Communication Assistant
Conrad Oberweger, an undergraduate research student at the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (CAIP) has been awarded the 2021 John Jachetta Undergraduate Research Award from the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) due to his outstanding work with Dr. Stephen Enloe. This award highlights undergraduate students across the country who have made outstanding achievements, contributions, and service in weed science. Students may be nominated for this award or apply individually.
Oberweger is a senior at the University of Florida studying environmental science with minors in soil and water science and agricultural and natural resource law. He has maintained a heavy focus in soil and water science by taking addition courses in this area of study. Additionally, Oberweger volunteers for the Florida Lakewatch Association where he acquires data and sampling of our Florida waters.
At UF/IFAS CAIP, Oberweger has worked under the guidance of Dr. Enloe since August of 2018. He was invited to work at the center by his undergraduate advisor in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
“There is truly no better way to learn than to have a hands-on experience and for this I am genuinely grateful,” Oberweger explained.
“Currently, Dr. Enloe and I are researching the interactions of the herbicide Triclopyr and Brazilian peppertree, when applied in a basal bark application,” Oberweger said. “Specifically, we are researching the potential for herbicide flashback and non-target injury following these applications.”
Since this study is still ongoing, there are no sound conclusions to report yet. However, thus far, the analyzed data shows root exudation of Triclopyr, which could have resulted in non-target injury, was limited.
“Working on this project has allowed me to gain valuable insight and understanding into the development of research experiments and their functionality,” Oberweger said. “In addition, I have progressed my comprehension in regard to data collection and processing.”
After graduation, Oberweger plans to pursue a master’s degree in agronomy with focus in weed science.
“I also hope to further advance my research on invasive species, as well as the most efficient methods to control their spread,” Oberweger concluded.
Supporting students interested in invasive aquatic plant management is just one of the many goals of UF/IFAS CAIP. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact CAIP. This piece was written by Cayla Romano, the current UF/IFAS CAIP communication assistant. Any questions should be directed to Shelby Thomas at 352-273-3667 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, please visit https://plants.ifas.ufl.edu. Be sure to follow us on social @UFIFASCAIP.
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