2019 – 2020 Officers

President: Brent Murphy

Brent is a second-year PhD student advised by Dr. Patrick Tranet. His research focuses on the evolution and characterization of multigenic herbicide resistance in Amaranthus species. Brent holds a Master’s of Science in Weed Science, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture, majoring in Plant Biotechnology and minoring in Computer Science. His interest in weed science is attributed to growing up on a small plot research farm.

In his free time, Brent enjoys baking and cooking new recipes and convincing others to taste test his more ‘experimental’ variants.

Vice President: Nicole (Niki) Lee

Niki Lee is a second-year PhD student advised by Dr. Adam Davis. Her research interests include international agricultural development, sustainable cropping systems for smallholder farmers, and social and behavioral factors influencing the adoption of integrated pest management practices.

She holds Bachelor’s degrees in International Studies, Horticulture, French, and Spanish from the University of Idaho and an MS degree in Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany.

In her free time, Niki loves traveling, exploring the outdoors, and dancing.

Treasurer: Jacob (Jake) Montgomery

Jake is a second-year master’s student from Athens, Illinois. He studies molecular weed science under Dr. Patrick Tranel, and his thesis research is concerned with the genetic basis of sex-determination in waterhemp and Palmer amaranth, along with resistance to PPO-inhibiting herbicides in Palmer amaranth. He credits his interest in agriculture to growing up on a grain and cattle farm in Central Illinois.

While he’s not hard at work solving the world’s weed infestation problems, he enjoys working on his family farm, golfing, and cooking. He plans to go on to complete a Ph.D. upon finishing his M.S. in May of 2020. He currently serves as the treasurer of the CSGO.

Co-Networking Chairs: German Mandrini and Matthew Murphy

German is a PhD student in the area of Bioinformatics, working on using process models to find strategies that would help mitigating the environmental impact of agriculture.

In his position as a Co-Networking Chair, he seeks to organize events that are interesting for everyone.In the future, he would like to improve connections between the department and the entrepreneurial world, by organizing seminars with speakers from different startups and also visits to their offices.

Matthew is a first-year Ph. D. student in the Department of Crop Sciences. Coming from a farming background, Matthew obtained his Bachelor’s in Biology from Illinois College and his Master’s in Plant and Environmental Science from Clemson University. At UIUC, Matthew’s research interests include utilizing different statistical approaches for gene by environment interactions and epistasis in model and crop species. After UIUC, Matthew’s future plans are either to get a position in academia or within a non-profit organization

Student Ambassador: Sarah Lipps

Sarah is in her first year of my MS studying genetic sources of disease resistance in both Maize and Sorghum. She is specifically looking into association mapping of a double-haploid maize population looking for QTL associated with disease resistance to Tar Spot, a disease reported in the US for the first time in 2015!

She hopes to one day work for the USDA and to live outside of the Midwest.