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This Lectureship was established in 1981 by ARS to honor the memory of Sterling B. Hendricks and to recognize scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the chemical science of agriculture. Hendricks contributed to many diverse scientific disciplines, including soil science, mineralogy, agronomy, plant physiology, geology, and chemistry. The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2022.  For more information, direct inquiries to

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Co-sponsored by AGFD and AGRO Divisions

2021 Awardee


Stephen O. Duke is internationally recognized for his basic and applied research on natural products as sources of pesticides and the biochemical and physiological modes of action of and resistance to herbicides. He is also well known for his extensive research on the herbicide glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant weeds and crops. His research has significantly influenced companies involved in pesticide discovery.

Steve received a BS in 1966 from Henderson State University (Arkadelphia, AR) and an MS in 1969 from the University of Arkansas. Then, he spent two years as a U.S. Army Medical Service Corps officer, a year of which was spent in Viet Nam. In 1975. he received a PhD in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry from Duke University. He is currently a principal scientist at the National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) which is an institute of the School of Pharmacy of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. Before this position he was a Research Leader of a USDA, Agricultural Research Service natural products laboratory located at NCNPR and, before that, he was Director of the USDA Southern Weed Science Laboratory in Stoneville, MS.

His PhD research was on phytochrome (discovered by Sterling Hendricks) control of plant biochemistry. His earliest research focused on plant photobiology and photochemistry, but he soon began studying the mechanisms of action of both synthetic and natural herbicides. He is especially known for his research on the mode of action of protoporphyrinogen oxidase-inhibiting herbicides. He also delved into the chemistry and mechanisms of chemical warfare between plants (allelopathy). Much of his research is on the biological activities of newly discovered natural compounds that might be used in pest management. Some of his more recent research has been on the use of genes for pest management.

He has authored almost 500 refereed papers and book chapters, two patents, and one co-written text book, as well as editing eleven books. Much of this work is highly cited, resulting in Web of Science and Google Scholar h-indices of 70 and 100, respectively.

He has been President or Chair of the Agrochemical Division (AGRO) of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), the International Weed Science Society (IWSS), and the International Allelopathy Society (IAS). He is a fellow of ACS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, AGRO, and WSSA. Other honors include the Molisch Award (IAS), the Outstanding International Achievement award of IWSS, the International Research Award of AGRO, and an honorary doctorate from the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain). He was elected to the USDA, ARS Science Hall of Fame in 2017. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the journal Pest Management Science since 2012 and serves on the editorial boards of several other journals.

Past Awardees


Norman E. Borlaug, Nobel Laureate, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico City, Mexico


Warren L. Butler, University of California-San Diego


Melvin Calvin, Nobel Laureate, University of California-Berkeley


Frederick Ausubel, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts


Alan Putnam, Michigan State University, East Lansing


Ralph Hardy, Cornell University and BioTechnica International, Ithaca, New York


Mary-Dell Chilton, Ciba-Geigy Corporation, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina


Bruce N. Ames, University of California, Berkeley


Sanford A. Miller, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas


Roy L. Whistle, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana


Peter S. Eagleson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge


John E. Casida, University of California-Berkeley


Philip H. Abelson, Deputy Editor, Science, and Scientific Advisor to AAAS, Washington, DC


Wendell L. Roelofs, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York


Winslow R. Briggs, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, California


Hugh D. Sisler, University of Maryland, College Park


Ernest Hodgson, North Carolina State University, Raleigh


Morton Beroza, USDA-ARS (retired), Beltsville, Maryland


Bruce D. Hammock, University of California-Davis


William S. Bowers, University of Arizona, Tuscon





Malcolm Thompson, USDA-ARS (retired), Beltsville, Maryland


Irvin E. Liener, University of Minnesota, St. Paul


Kriton Kleanthis Hatzios, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg


Robert L. Buchanan, Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland


Donald L. Sparks, University of Delaware, Newark


Stanley B. Prusiner, Nobel Laureate, University of California, San Francisco


Bruce E. Dale, Michigan State University, East Lansing


Fergus M. Clydesdale, University of Massachusetts-Amherst


Charles J. Arntzen, Arizona State University-Tempe


Chris Somerville, Director of the Energy Biosciences Institute, Berkeley, California


Deborah P. Delmer, University of California-Davis


Eric Block, University at Albany, State University of New York


Keith Solomon, University of Guelph, Canada


Robert T. Fraley, Monsanto, Company, St. Louis, Missouri


James Tumlinson, Penn State, University Park


May R. Berenbaum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


John Pickett, Rothamsted Research, United Kingdom


James N. Seiber, University of California, Davis


John W. Finley, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge


Thomas C. Sparks, Corteva Agrisciences, Wilmington, DE


Fereidon Shahidi, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Newfoundland, Canada

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