Cotton Incorporated is pleased to announce Dr. Ryan Kurtz has joined their Agricultural and Environmental Research Division (AERD) as director, Agricultural Research - Entomology. He will be working with Dr. Pat O’Leary over the next several months until he becomes familiar with her duties before she moves into retirement. Dr. Kurtz is an international expert on insect resistance management of Bt traits in corn and cotton, and recently held global responsibilities for Syngenta as the Global Lead for Traits Insect Resistance Management.
Ryan earned his Ph.D. at NC State University while working with Dr. J.R. Bradley and Dr. John Van Duyn studying resistance management in Bt crops to control cotton bollworms. “A clear understanding of Bt resistance issues is increasingly critical to U.S. agriculture as more corn and cotton acreage is planted to hybrids and varieties containing Bt traits, and as cases of field resistance continue to be reported both domestically and internationally,” explains Dr. Kater Hake, Vice President of the AERD for Cotton Incorporated.
Dr. Kurtz received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Pest Management from Mississippi State University in 2000. He will be working closely with Dr. O’Leary and the rest of the AERD team to ensure a smooth transition of priorities, plans and projects in this key discipline within the cotton production system. “Ryan’s background and experience are tailored for this position and will allow him to identify new directions and initiatives for entomological research to benefit our U.S. producers,” comments O’Leary.