Contribution to the science/profession: Recognized for pioneering and sustained research on the effects and modes of action of pesticides on target and non-target organisms, and for research that has promoted natural compound-based pesticides.
Contribution to the ACS community: Recognized for sustained service to the Division of Agrochemicals by promotion of international interactions, strategic planning, communication of research, programming, as well as serving in many leadership roles and offices.
Stephen O. Duke received his Ph.D. from Duke University in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. He has been involved in chemical aspects of agricultural sciences for more than 40 years. He is currently Research Leader of a USDA, Agricultural Research Service natural products laboratory located at the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy in Oxford, Mississippi. Before that, he was Director of the Southern Weed Science Laboratory in Stoneville, Mississippi.
While Steve’s earlier research focused on herbicides, his recent activities have expanded to the use of genes and natural chemicals for pest management. The research teams of the group that he currently leads have patented two natural fungicides, a natural algicide, a gene for herbicide resistance, genes for natural fungicide and herbicide production, natural insect repellents, a method for obtaining greater yields of a pharmaceutical from a plant, and several uses of a nutraceutical in disease prevention. His personal research has dealt with the mechanisms of action of synthetic and natural herbicides and phytoxins, genetically-engineered herbicide-resistant crops, and allelochemical involvement in allelopathy.
He has been President or Chair of the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), the International Weed Science Society (IWSS), the International Allelopathy Society (IAS), and the Agrochemical Division of the American Chemical Society (AGRO). He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, WSSA, and AGRO, as well as recipient of the Molisch Award (IAS), the Outstanding International Achievement award of IWSS, and the International Research Award of AGRO. The University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain) awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2008. He is Editor-in-Chief of Pest Management Science and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Chemical Ecology and Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. He has authored over 400 refereed papers and book chapters, co-written a text book, and edited nine books. Much of this work is highly cited, resulting in Web of Science and Google Scholar h-indexes of 57 and 75, respectively.
He has had many roles in AGRO in addition to Chair. He has contributed to AGRO international activities by representing AGRO by co-organizing symposia at international meetings (e.g., Pacifchem and the International Symposium on Pesticide and Environmental Safety). His nomination of AGRO for the ACS ChemLuminary Award for International Activities in 2014 was successful. As member of the AGRO committee that organized the Lunch and Learn Webinar Series, he has helped organize many of these presentations, moderated several of them, and gave one of them himself. He has co-edited six ACS Symposium Series volumes, edited two special issues of journals based on AGRO symposia, and edited a special section of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry based on a symposium that he co-organized. He is a long standing member of the AGRO Strategic Planning Committee and is the Chair of the newly formed AGRO Partnership Committee. He was Chair of the temporary “Committee on Committees” that rewrote the AGRO Operations Manual.