UNL extension appoints new weed specialist
Dr. Nevin Lawrence will join the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center in January as an integrated weed-management specialist.
Lawrence’s appointment was announced by Dr. Jack Whittier, Research and Extension Director at the Panhandle R&E Center. He will replace Dr. Robert Wilson, the long-time weed specialist who retired in 2015.
When he begins on Jan. 4, 2016, Lawrence will be responsible for conducting research and extension programs focused on integrated weed management for the crops and cropping systems in the Nebraska Panhandle. As part of a multidisciplinary team at the Panhandle Center, he will partner with other UNL faculty and various organizations, agencies and advisory groups.
Lawrence’s work at the Panhandle Center is expected to address several key challenges: an increasing number of weeds developing herbicide resistance; establishment of weed species atypical of the region due to climate change; specialized strategies related to climate and soils of the Nebraska Panhandle; and the unique crop rotation of sugarbeet, corn and dry edible beans in irrigated regions and winter wheat, dry edible peas, sunflower and proso millet in rain-fed regions.
Whittier stated: “We are very excited to have Nevin join our team here in the Panhandle. His expertise, background and energy he brings to the Center will provide another key information and advice component for crop producers in this area. Weed management is a key part of improving their overall crop production systems. It will be great to have Nevin continuing the legacy established by Bob Wilson during his career.”
Lawrence said: “I am excited to begin my new position in the New Year and continue the long tradition of applied weed management research at the Panhandle REC. The crop rotations, high pH soils, unique climate, and emerging herbicide resistant weeds make the Panhandle an exciting and challenging environment to work in.
“I look forward to pursuing partnerships with growers, commodity groups, industry partners and fellow UNL researchers to address the many weed management challenges in the Panhandle of Nebraska. I am originally from central Wyoming, and my wife and son are excited to be returning to a part of the country that feels home.”
Since 2011 Lawrence has been a graduate research assistant at Washington State University while working on his Ph.D. in crop science at Pullman, which he received in July 2015. His dissertation focused on adaptation to climate change and small-grain production systems by cheat grass.
He received a master’s degree in agronomy in 2011 from the University of Wyoming. His thesis topic related to glyphosate susceptibility, weed community response, and competitive load in a glyphosate-resistant cropping system. His bachelor’s degree in agroecology was also earned from UW, in 2009.
Lawrence is one of four new faculty members who have joined the staff at the Panhandle Center in recent months. The others include Irrigation Management Specialist Dr. Amir Haghverdi, Range and Forage Management Specialist Dr. Mitchell Stephenson, and Dryland Cropping Systems Specialist Dr. Cody Creech.
The Panhandle Extension District encompasses 16 counties in western and north-central Nebraska, including Banner, Blaine, Box Butte, Cherry, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Hooker, Morrill, Kimball, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sioux, and Thomas counties.