As winter is upon us, I hope everyone is staying warm. I know I am as I spend a large chunk of my time in the Lillly greenhouses each day. At the start of the school year and continuing on until the end of this school year, I am participating in undergraduate research. Even though I am an agronomy major, I am working under Dr. Young in weed science in the botany department.
Through my research I am looking at the susceptibility and tolerance levels of different soybean varieties to two different herbicides. The two specific herbicides I am working with are commonly applied to soybeans in order to kill broadleaf weeds. In some weather conditions the soybeans can be affected by the herbicides but they will eventually grow out of it.By doing this, I hope to be able to identify what varieties will have the greatest amount of damage and to be able to rank each variety by the amount of damage.
To be able to do this, I am conducting several different tests on the beans in order to rank them. The first one is pretty straight forward, plant the seed then spray the pots of beans the following day before they emerge. In 2 to 3 weeks, depending on the herbicide damage will occur and the susceptible soybean varieties will be evident. The next test includes soaking bean seeds in a herbicide solution then planting them. Observations of emergence number, height, and overall appearance are taken.
With this data, I will be able to compile it and present it on a poster in different competitions. Doing undergraduate research is a cool hands on way to learn more about what you are interested in. It also gives students an opportunity to apply what they have learned in class to a real life situation. There are several ways you could become involved with research. You could develop your own project, work for a professor on their project, or work for a professor and work with their graduates students on their various projects. I really enjoy it and encourage anybody else who is interested to pursue it also!