Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Weed Science - Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

Are you interested in continuing your education?

Here you can find an overview of what you can expect from the Graduate Programs we offer.


We endeavor to develop long term relationships with our students and strive to prepare them for a host of real world employment opportunities.

Degree Programs

Masters in Plant and Soil Sciences
Ph.D. in Crop Sciences
Ph.D. in Plant Physiology

Graduate Faculty

The Ph.D. in Crop Sciences program allows for areas of specialization. For those interested in Weed Science we list the following faculty and their areas of specialization:

Michael Barrett - Herbicide selectivity, resistance, and mode of action in plants
J. D. Green - Pasture and grain crops
James R. Martin - Grain crops
William W. Witt - Herbicide persistence in soil; pasture and grain crops

Current Students

In their own words current graduate students in the Weed Science Group explain what brought them to this program.

photo of graduate studentDaisy Fryman - I received my BS degree in Plant and Soil Sciences: Crops and Livestock from the University of Kentucky. I decided on Weed Science as a master's degree because it encompasses a wide range of techniques and practices that has furthered my education and broadened my agronomic background. While obtaining my master's degree I studied under Dr. Bill Witt, and focused my research efforts on control of Canada thistle and tall ironweed with rope-wick and broadcast treatment in pastures. Studying and working with the diverse group of individuals that is the UK Weed Science Group has allowed me to gain experience in different aspects of weed science such as right of way maintenance and row crops weed control. In my opinion, my time in the weed science group has been fun, challenging, and rewarding. The positive atmosphere there allowed me to gain experience in weed science and agronomy. The group has also allowed me to build lifetime friendships with my fellow graduate students as well as the faculty and staff.

photo of graduate studentMeghan Edwards - I received my BS from the University of Kentucky in Plant and Soil Science with an emphasis in Crops and Livestock. I also received a minor in Animal Science. I chose the UK PSS Weed Science Group for my graduate studies because I was interested in not just your typical weed control in row crop production but also pastures. My research is in pasture weed control; specifically working to target spiny amaranth. I am focusing on herbicide application timing and soil concentrations on the germination and development of spiny amaranth. My advisor is Dr. J.D. Green. The thing I like most about UK Weed Science is the opportunity to work in many different areas of weed science. Although my thesis research focuses on pasture work I have the opportunity to gain research experience working in row crops and right of ways because all members of UK Weed Science Group work closely with one another.

Former Students

Our programs prepare you for a range of rewarding occupation pursuits.  Below are two recent alumni that have links on the departmental website.  Check out their career paths.

Jason Ferrell - Extension Weed Specialist in the Department of Agronomy at the University of Florida.
Jennifer Ralston - Oilseeds Product Management Lead for the Monsanto Company.

Other UK weed science graduate students currently are faculty members for the Universities of Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Wisconsin-River Falls.  Others work for seed companies such as Pioneer Hybrid Seeds and O. M. Scotts while others have research or development positions with major herbicide companies such as BASF, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, Syngenta, and Valent.

Graduate Student Research.

A sampling of graduate student research from 1995 to the present.

Weed Biology

Edwards, Meghan. Began 2008. Spiny Amaranth Growth and Reproduction from Commonly Used Pasture Herbicides. In progress.

Saphangthong, Thatsaka. 2008. Glyphosate Tolerance of Horseweed (Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq.) Accessions from Kentucky

Crotser, Michael. 1998. Effects of Soybean Cultivar Interference on the Growth of Eastern Black Nightshade: Impact of Light Manipulation.

Gift, Nancy. 1995. The Soybean Canopy Opens: Effects of Maturity Group on Yield, Weed Emergence, and Harvest Interference. Grain Crop Weed Management

Marshal, Michael. 2005. Biology and Carbohydrate Fluctuations of Trumpetcreeper [Campsis Radicans (L.) Seem.] and its Control In No-Tillage And Minimum-Tillage

Brommer, Chad L. 2002. Characterization and Economic Analysis of Perennial Weed Populations in Kentucky No-till Production Fields.

Ferrell, Jason A. 2000. Comparison of Glyphosate with Other Herbicides for In-Season Weed Control in Corn.

Moreno, Raul. 1997. Weed Control in Glyphosate-Tolerant Soybean with Glyphosate Used Alone and in Combination with Other Herbicides.

Greenwell, Joe. 1995. Evaluation of Glyphosate-Tolerant Soybean as an Alternative Method of Weed Management in No-Till Production of Soybean.

Ewing, Justin M. 2000. Effects of Weed Management Strategies on Winter Wheat in Kentucky.


Tolson, Josh. Began 2008. Impact of Herbicide, Fertility, and Mowing On Tall Ironweed Growth and Reproduction. In progress

Fryman, Daisy M. 2009. Comparison of Rope-Wick and Broadcast Treatments For Control Of Canada Thistle And Tall Ironweed

Soil and Herbicide Interactions

Lee, Andrew T. 2002. Persistence and Efficacy of Fall-Applied Simazine and Atrazine in No-Till Corn Production.

Murdock, Shea W. 1999. Diclosulam Dissipation in Three Soybean Tillage Systems. Ralston, Jennifer Lambert. 1996. Movement of Herbicides in Shallow Ground Water in No-Till Double-Cropped Soybean

Jacobson, Brent D. 1994. Relationship of Herbicide Fate in Agricultural Soils to Water Contamination.

Non crop - Right of Way

Settles, Joseph E. 2000. Response of Native Plant Communities One Year after Herbicide Treatment, Mowing, or Burning in Power Line Rights-of-Way.

Herbicide Selectivity / Resistance / Mode of Action

Freytag, Ann M. 2003. Genetic Control of Chlortoluron Sensitivity in Corn and Wheat.

Ferhataglu, Yurdagul. 2001. Basis for the Safening of Cotton from Herbicide Clomazone by the Organophosphate Insecticide Phorate and Studies of Clomazone Mode of Action

Ralston, Jennifer L. 2001. Promoter Analysis and Herbicide Metabolism Capabilities Of A Safener-Inducible Cytochrome P450 From Corn.

Obermeier, Michelle R. 1998. Enzymatic, Molecular, and Genetic Characterization of Acetyl Coenzyme A Carboxylase Inhibitor Resistant and Susceptible Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) Biotypes.

Schmenk, Richard. 1997. Biochemical Characterization of an Acetolactate-Synthase-Inhibitor-Resistant Smooth Pigweed Biotype and Its Management in Soybean.

Your Input

We support a variety of end-users, including industrial, state and local agencies, and private landowners. We want the information contained in this web site to be useful. If you have questions or concerns about the information here, or ideas and future needs, please contact William Witt (

About Us | Site Map | Contact Us | ©2007 University of Kentucky