The Insect Research and Control Conference Award for Excellence in Cotton Integrated Pest Management recognizes the outstanding career contributions of an individual to applied arthropod integrated pest management across the U.S. Cotton Belt, excelling in industry, research, extension, or educational programs that have benefited the cotton industry. The 2013 winner is Dr. Patricia O’Leary, recently retired from Cotton Incorporated. The annual recognition is sponsored by Dow AgroSciences and consists of an inscribed trophy and a monetary reward. The 2013 award was presented to Dr. O’Leary at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 9.
Pat is a native of Bolivar County, Miss., and the daughter of a cotton farmer, receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees from Delta State University and a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University. Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated she worked in the contract research industry and held research and product development positions in companies producing biologically based products. As a senior director in the Agricultural Research Division her primary responsibility was to coordinate and manage cooperative research related to insect pest management in cotton.
She has been involved with countless IPM problems over the years and has helped develop reactive research plans for addressing those issues, fostered collaborations and developed teams to address insect problems. The leadership she demonstrated has and will continue to serve as a model for supporting insect research projects to benefit the cotton industry.
The research legacy left by Dr. O’Leary includes her work with the University of Arkansas to develop COTMAN, the Crop Management Seminars & Workshops, and discovery of the use of “eugenol,” to enhance the boll weevil pheromone “grandlure” in boll weevil traps.