Two Virginia Tech faculty members have been recognized by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) for their outstanding contributions to the field of weed science during the organization’s annual meeting in Waikoloa, Hawaii, in February.

Jeffrey Derr

Professor Jeffrey Derr was named a society Fellow in recognition of his meritorious contributions to weed science and the WSSA. This is the highest honor awarded by the society.

"This is a great honor,” said Derr, who is a faculty member in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science. “It is a very special recognition of my weed science program at Virginia Tech, my service to this national scientific society, and my contributions to the discipline of Weed Science.”

Derr conducts weed management research in horticultural crops and disseminates that information through his extension program, which is based at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Virginia Beach.

A longtime Virginia Tech faculty member, Derr has authored or co-authored 136 papers presented at scientific meetings and 52 peer-reviewed journal articles on weed management, given more than 775 extension talks, and authored 200 articles for newsletters and national trade magazines. He has been an associate editor for Weed Science and Weed Technology, refereed journals published by WSSA. Derr served as president of WSSA in 2008-09. To date, he is only the second individual from Virginia Tech to lead this national professional society for weed scientists.

Derr received his bachelor's degree from Penn State and a master's degree and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.

Shawn Askew

Well known for his statewide leadership in the development of weed control programs for turfgrass, Shawn Askew recently received the WSSA’s Outstanding Early Career Weed Scientist Award. Askew is an associate professor and extension specialist in turfgrass weed science. Askew and his students are active in WSSA, as well as the Southwest and Northeast regional weed science societies. They have attended every meeting for more than 10 years.

"I can't express how much I'm honored to receive the Weed Science Society of America Early Career Weed Scientist Award,” said Askew. “When I look at the list of 25 individuals that received this award in the past quarter century, I see the names of the most respected people in weed science globally."

Askew provides statewide leadership in the development of weed control programs for turfgrass. He has been a Virginia Tech faculty member since 2001.

The membership of WSSA includes academic, governmental, and private industry research scientists, students and educators, extension personnel, and federal, state, county, and private land managers from across the United States and Canada, with additional members from other countries.

Askew received his bachelor's degree and master's degree from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.