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Tom Slick Fellowship awarded to da Costa


Vladimir da Costa, a Texas A&M University graduate student in soil and crop science, has been awarded the Tom Slick Graduate Research Fellowship by the university's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The fellowship provides support for dissertation research of exceptional doctoral students, according to college officials. The research topic conducted by the student must be relevant to Southwest Texas agriculture and research must be conducted in Texas. Recipients of the fellowship are selected twice each year.

"My research focuses on the feasibility of using an anti-ethylene compound to counter the effects of stress on physiological and agronomic parameters of cotton," da Costa said.

Occurrence of stress at key physiological stages of crop growth can profoundly impact yield and related components of cotton and other crops, he said.

"I am pursuing both field and greenhouse studies to examine the impact of water stress and synthetic ethylene on plant ethylene production, photosynthetic machinery efficiency, carbon partitioning, plant growth and development, yield components, seed number and size, and fiber quality, among others of cotton plants."

Da Costa is studying under the direction of Dr. Tom Cothren.

A native of Brazil, da Costa came to Texas A&M in 2007 after earning his master's degree in crop production at Iowa State University. He plans to graduate in 2010 and pursue a career in research.

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