Claudia Ann RutlandStudent Research Spotlight - Claudia Ann Rutland

Claudia Ann Rutland won first place in the oral presentation category, University-Wide Graduate Student Winners in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, during the 2022 Auburn Research: Student Symposium.

Hometown:  Mitchell Station, Alabama
Degree and major: Doctorate in Weed Science
College: Agriculture
Department: Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences
Class year: Second Year of Doctoral Program
Faculty mentor: Scott McElroy

Amplicon Sequencing as a Method for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Detection and Subgenome Identification in Polyploid Species



What are you researching?
My research is broadly focused on herbicide resistance in weed species, more specifically on improving the methodology of identifying target-site resistance in polyploid weed species. I am also starting a project to investigate resistance mechanisms in weeds against auxin mimic herbicides.

How could the results benefit individuals, agencies or companies?
As with most research into herbicides, the results from my study will improve weed-management practices for herbicide programs. Understanding the genetic background of these weeds is vital to controlling them; that way, we can hopefully reduce the amount of herbicide used for control. Companies could use the information from my studies to develop new herbicide programs or improve their current programs.

Tell us why you enjoy research.
When I got the opportunity to work as an undergraduate research assistant for Professor Scott McElroy, I jumped at the opportunity for the experience, thinking I just would be washing the pots or cleaning dishware, which is typical of most undergrad work. But when I started, I was getting to learn more about the different lab techniques I had learned in my classes, and from that point on, I knew research was what I wanted to do as my career.

What advice would you give to other students considering doing a research project?
Not every experiment is going to work out the way you want, and that’s okay. Just take a deep breath, accept it and move on. It’s made my life much easier not dwelling on my mistakes but learning from them.

Tell us about any hobbies or activities you enjoy.
I really enjoy painting and drawing in my free time. I like to work with my hands, and it’s a good way to calm my mind and relax. Musical theatre is also my guilty pleasure, so I love going to see all the shows at the Gogue Performing Arts Center, and watching any that I can find online.


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