Young man with a scientific poster that reads, “Cattails, Typha L., Control in Delta Rice with Florpyrauxifen"
Deniz Inci has been named graduate student of the month by the Weed Science Society of America.

Inci named WSSA grad student of the month

Favorite weed? "Barnyardgrass"

Ph.D. candidate Deniz Inci is the Weed Science Society of America graduate student of the month. Here, he offers some background on his passion for finding solutions to the problem of weeds in agriculture.

What university do you attend and what is your research focus?

I am at the University of California, Davis, in the lab of Kassim Al-Khatib. I have focused on evaluating a suite of tools to improve season-long weed management in California rice, while providing best management practices to control herbicide-resistant weeds. I am also involved in characterizing novel herbicides and assessing their off-target impacts on fruit, nut and vine crops.

Two men, one older and one younger, standing outdoors
Deniz Inci, right, is a doctoral candidate in the lab of Kassim Al-Khatib. (Trina Kleist/UC Davis)

What drew you to weed science?

I have always been interested in weeds in agronomical, horticultural and rural settings. During my first weed science course as an undergraduate, I realized that weed science was the career pathway I wanted to pursue. Since then, nearly all growers I have met have told me that weeds are their biggest challenges, which fascinates me and has led to my decision to study weed science.

What is your favorite thing about the WSSA or your regional society?

My favorite thing about the WSSA is networking with peers, colleagues and friends who are ambitious about weed science. Meeting with folks from public and private industries who speak the same scientific language is always great.

What is your favorite weed and why?

My favorite weed is barnyardgrass, one of the most significant challenges of rice systems worldwide, including in California. Since the beginning of my Ph.D., I have been dedicated to sustainable watergrass management, focusing on barnyardgrass in the Sacramento Valley. I cannot express how beautiful looking a barnyardgrass-free rice field is.

What is your long-term goal?

I am highly interested in herbicide discovery, development and stewardship processes. My long-term goal is to have a career in an industry that allows me to be part of innovative solutions for growers and stakeholders. I feel honored to be part of the University of California, where stakeholders from diverse backgrounds collaborate to address challenges in California agriculture. As an applied science person, I would be happy to be part of an innovative team that brings solutions to modern agriculture. That would be my dream job.

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