Mississippi State senior takes second in agronomy contest

Matthew Tucker is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. | Contributed photo

Matthew Tucker, a senior agronomy major at Mississippi State University, took second-place honors in oral presentation at the National Student Research Symposium Contest.

“The first time I heard him speak, I was struck by how engaging he was and by how he clearly grasped the material,” assistant professor Christian Baldwin, Tucker’s faculty adviser, said.

The contest took place in Minneapolis as part of the joint annual conference of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America.

Tucker is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and is also a President’s List Scholar. He brings a unique skillset to the table, majoring in plant and soil science with a concentration in golf and sports turf management.

He was among 14 students from 13 colleges taking place in the contest. Each student had 10 minutes to make presentations on their research projects. Scoring was based on speaking abilities as well as the project’s research rigor and significance in the scientific community.

Tucker’s project examined screening methods for water stress in seedlings and identification of drought-tolerant lines of tall fescue and bermuda grass. Tucker’s goal with the project is to help plant breeders in their work to produce improved varieties of grasses.

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