MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Kansas State University (KSU) scientists Jianming Yu and Mary Beth Kirkham will be honored by the Crop Science Society of America at its annual meeting in Long Beach, California, U.S. from Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

Yu, an associate professor in KSU’s Department of Agronomy, will receive the society’s Early Career Professional Award and Young Crop Scientist Award.

Yu’s work focuses on developing methods of cutting-edge genetic and genomic tools for complex trait dissection and plant breeding. He has served as associate editor of the journals Crop Science and Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Besides general methodology work, Yu’s program has a focus on sorghum genetics and genomics. He is a member of the KSU Center for Sorghum Improvement and the KSU Sorghum Translational Genomics Program.

"I am very grateful to colleagues and research team members at KSU, collaborators, and advisors and mentors for their generous support," Yu said.

The Early Career Professional Award recognizes early career members who have made an outstanding contribution in agronomy, crop science or soil science within seven years of completing their final degree. The Young Crop Scientist Award recognizes a scientist who has made an outstanding contribution in any area of crop science by the age of 37. Such factors as teaching ability, effectiveness in extension and service activities, significance and originality of basic and applied research, and effectiveness in administrative areas are considered.

Mary Beth Kirkham, a professor in KSU’s Department of Agronomy, will receive the society’s Crop Science Research Award. Her work focuses on the uptake of heavy metals by crops and the physiology of drought resistance. She is on the editorial board of several journals, including Crop Science, Soil Science, and Agricultural Water Management.

The principal criteria for choosing the Crop Science Research Award recipient include: significance and originality of basic and applied research contributions in crop science; excellence in creative reasoning and skill in obtaining significant data; and total impact of contributions on crop science and other fields, nationally and internationally.

"I am honored to be the recipient of the Crop Science Research Award. It would not be possible without the able input of colleagues and students who have worked with me," Kirkham said.