Elizabeth Krause and Dr. Thompson stand in front of Loftsgard Hall

Krause presents Duncan Scholar Research at National Conference on Undergraduate Research

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Elizabeth Krause has completed the North Dakota State University (NDSU) College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources (CAFSNR) Russell and Anna Duncan Undergraduate Research Scholars “Duncan Scholars” program. She presented her research during the National Conference on Undergraduate Research April 4-8, 2022. 

Krause is a freshman horticulture major who grew up in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she worked in her family’s vegetable garden each summer. She worked with NDSU associate professor and potato breeding project leader, Dr. Asunta “Susie” Thompson, and collaborators Dr. Gary Secor and Dr. Andy Robinson, to quantify the reduction of Potato Virus Y (PVY) through the use of crop oils and timely vinekill. She tested different combinations of crop oil and vine desiccation treatments to prevent the spread of PVY, which is spread by aphids as they feed on potato plants. “The goal of the treatments is to prevent aphids from feeding, and shorten the amount of time that a plant could possibly be exposed to aphids,” says Krause. Krause plans to continue working with Thompson, and is considering graduate school after she finishes her undergraduate degree. 

With COVID restrictions still in place in 2021, Thompson met Krause via Zoom as an incoming freshman and new advisee. Thompson recalls, “While chatting, Elizabeth mentioned she was looking for a retail horticulture position for the summer to learn more about plants. I offered her a time-slip position with my project to learn more about horticultural research. Elizabeth accepted the position and after one summer with our potato breeding team, I asked her if she’d be interested in some research of her own, working with me and collaborators Dr. Gary Secor and Dr. Andy Robinson on a North Dakota Specialty Block Grant.” 

The Duncan Scholar program provides the opportunity for faculty and undergraduate students to work together on research projects in production agriculture areas. The program is sponsored through gifts from the Russell and Anna Duncan family who have had a long time involvement with and commitment to crop and livestock agriculture. 

NDSU CAFSNR undergraduate students applying for the award work with a research faculty member to assume major responsibility for a new research project, or a specific component of an existing research program. The student must be full time and is expected to complete research during the fall and spring semesters of the subsequent academic year. They then must present research results during one of the student research symposia that are sponsored by North Dakota State University. 

For more information on the Duncan Scholars program contact David Buchanan, Associate Dean, CAFSNR, Morrill Hall 315, NDSU.