Deniz Inci, WSSA graduate student of the month

From the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) Graduate Student Organization newsletter (Feb. 2024)

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Deniz Inci, Ph.D. Candidate, Weed Science Program, Dept. of Plant Sciences, UC Davis
Graduate Student of the Month

Deniz Inci, Ph.D. Candidate with the Al-Khatib Lab at UC Davis, is the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) graduate student of the month.

What university do you attend and what is your research focus?
I am at the University of California, Davis, where I have focused on evaluating a suite of tools to improve season-long weed management in California rice while providing best management practices to control herbicide-resistant weeds. I am also involved in characterizing novel herbicides and assessing their off-target impacts on fruit, nut, and vine crops.

What drew you to weed science?
I have always been interested in weeds in agronomical, horticultural, and rural settings. During my first weed science course as an undergraduate, I realized that weed science was the career pathway I wanted to pursue. Since then, nearly all growers I have met have told me that weeds are their biggest challenges, which fascinates me and has led to my decision to study weed science.

What is your favorite thing about the WSSA or your regional society?
My favorite thing about the WSSA is networking with peers, colleagues, and friends who are ambitious about weed science. Meeting with folks from public and private industries who speak the same scientific language is always great.

What is your favorite weed and why?
My favorite weed is barnyardgrass, one of the most significant challenges of rice systems worldwide, including California. Since the beginning of my Ph.D., I have been dedicated to sustainable watergrass management, focusing on barnyardgrass in the Sacramento Valley. I cannot express how beautiful looking a barnyardgrass-free rice field is.

What is your long-term goal?
I am highly interested in herbicide discovery, development, and stewardship processes. My long-term goal is to have a career in an industry that allows me to be part of innovative solutions for growers and stakeholders. I feel honored to be part of the University of California, where stakeholders from diverse backgrounds collaborate to address challenges in California agriculture. As an applied science person, I would be happy to be part of an innovative team that brings solutions to modern agriculture, which would be my dream job.

To contact Deniz Inci, email him at

The story also appears on the UC Davis Plant Sciences Dept. NEWS website.


By Gale Perez
Posted by - Public Education Specialist