3 scientists hired, 2 get promoted

Linda Benedict, Bogren, Richard C.  |  9/11/2012 7:42:45 PM

Three new scientists have joined the LSU AgCenter, and two scientists have taken on new responsibilities.

Julien Beuzelin, a recent Ph.D. graduate of LSU, is the new field crop entomologist at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center with a 90 percent appointment in research and 10 percent appointment in extension. His responsibilities include feed grains, soybeans, sugarcane, rice and sweet potato.

He is not an unknown face to many in the AgCenter because he has worked closely with Gene Reagan, entomologist, over the past few years trying to track the march of the Mexican rice borer into Texas and finally southwest Louisiana. Originally from the French Caribbean, where his family farms, he was formally educated in France.

David Kerns is an entomologist at the Macon Ridge Research Station. He was raised in West Texas and attended Texas A&M University, Oklahoma State University and Auburn University. He has worked as a crop consultant in Texas, within the agricultural chemical industry in the Mississippi Delta, as a vegetable and citrus entomologist and as a cotton entomologist.

Kerns’ responsibilities include insect pest management in cotton, corn, soybeans and grain sorghum with statewide responsibilities in cotton. Much of his research includes insecticide efficacy, monitoring insecticide resistance, insect outbreaks, developing action thresholds and the development of insect-resistant transgenic crops. His program supports three research associates, a research technician, a graduate assistant, four student workers and additional summer labor.

Josh Lofton, who was awarded his Ph.D. from LSU in May, joined the faculty at the Macon Ridge Research Station May 1 with a 90 percent research and 10 percent extension appointment. His current research responsibilities are to improve management of the major row crops in northeast Louisiana– corn, cotton, soybeans and grain sorghum– with emphasis on improving nutrient and water use efficiency. He also is statewide agronomic contact for grain sorghum production.

As of July 1, Boyd Padgett, former plant pathologist at the Macon Ridge Research Station in Winnsboro, became director of the AgCenter’s 10-parish Central Region with an office in Alexandria at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center. His responsibilities include overseeing all extension and research efforts in that area.

Donnie Miller, weed scientist, assumed duties as research coordinator at the Macon Ridge Station on May 1. This is in addition to his duties as research coordinator at the Northeast Research Station in St. Joseph.

Rick Bogren

(This article was published in the summer 2012 issue of Louisiana Agriculture magazine.)

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