Three new scientists join AgCenter

Olivia McClure, Gould, Frances I., Blanchard, Tobie M.  |  9/12/2018 7:40:20 PM

The LSU AgCenter recently hired three scientists whose work aims to improve soybean and grain production in Louisiana.

Olivia McClure

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Todd Spivey

Todd Spivey was named the state soybean specialist in 2017 shortly after receiving his doctorate from North Carolina State University. His research background includes work in insect pest management, soil fertility, irrigation and long-term tillage systems.

As the soybean specialist, Spivey helps farmers, consultants, AgCenter agents and others with all aspects of soybean production. Spivey’s office is at the Dean Lee Research and Extension Center near Alexandria.

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Lauren Lazaro

Lauren Lazaro, who joined the AgCenter in 2017, is a weed scientist who focuses on weed ecology and how management tactics affect weed populations over time. She received her doctorate from Southern Illinois University and previously was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arkansas.

Lazaro also conducts research on harvest weed seed control, and she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses at LSU. She is based in Baton Rouge.

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Sara Thomas-Sharma

Plant pathologist Sara Thomas-Sharma began working at the AgCenter in 2018. She earned her doctorate at the University of Georgia and completed postdoctoral training at Kansas State University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Thomas-Sharma’s research interests include applying the tools of epidemiology, molecular biology and ecology to improve the management of diseases in field crops, especially soybeans. She is based in Baton Rouge, where she also teaches a general plant pathology course.

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