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OSU Graduate Student has a Passion for Learning Crop Science

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Oklahoma State University doctoral student Gwen Abit had the opportunity to grow up around and learn inside a university campus due to her father’s work as an administrative staff member at Visayas State University in the Philippines.


She earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a Master of Science in agronomy at VSU before coming to the U.S. to pursue her doctorate in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.


As an undergraduate, Abit specialized in sweet potato crops, studying the storage root shape variation and yield performance of the different sweet potato lines grown in sandy loam and loamy soils. While working on her master’s degree, she researched the growth and yield performance of lowland rice as influenced by different nutrient management and tillage practices. 


“My interest in exploring more about crop science has driven me to pursue higher study out of my comfort zone. That is why I chose to study outside my country,” Abit said. “With the guidance of Dr. Josh Lofton, I have been investigating the physiological response of sorghum crops when nitrogen application is delayed. It is so interesting to know how crops have changes to their nutrient uptake through time.”  


Abit said it was a difficult decision to study abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, but she was looking for a university that could provide quality education during this trying time. 


“That is why I chose OSU,” she said. “Because of OSU, I got to experience and learn new things hands-on inside the greenhouse and out on the farm.”


After graduating, Abit hopes to return home to “extend what I learned and experienced at OSU through doing research and extension.”


Abit said she is passionate about learning more in crop sciences, and during her time at OSU, she has loved going to class, meeting other people and exploring more about crop science through exposure to field work.

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