Weed Science Program is integrated with various disciplines in Plant Science, Soil Science and Environmental Science disciplines in Stockbridge School of Agriculture under College of Natural Sciences. Students majoring in Weed Science require special courses based on their interests and research projects.


Dr. Pransanta Bhowmik is responsible for teaching weed science courses at Associate, Undergraduate and Graduate level. He taught these courses (PLSOIL 310 and PLSOIL 560) under Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences department over the years, and currently he is teaching several courses (STOCKSCH 290W, STOCKSCH 310, STOCKSCH 560, STOCKSCH 391B (co-taught)) under Stockbridge School of Agriculture. Also, he co-taught other courses (ENT 581-IPM); ENV SCI 535).
Under the guidance of Dr. Bhowmik, 25 students (16 M. S. and nine Ph. D.) completed their weed science thesis/dissertations, and are currently employed by university, industry and government agencies. He also co-advised two Ph. D and four M. S. students. In addition, 15 Research Associate or Post-Doctoral Fellows, Visiting Professors, FAO-sponsored Fellow, and UNESCO Scholar collaborated in weed science research at UMass Amherst.
For more information, follow Faculty Web page (link is external)
Bhowmik’s Lab website


Weed Management in Turfgrass Environments

Dr. Prasanta C. Bhowmik:  Much of our field research is aimed at gaining information on various phases of herbicide application that will influence specific label directions for herbicide use in various turfgrass species. New herbicides are being evaluated for their efficacy, turfgrass safety, and residual control of weeds under Massachusetts conditions. This is extremely important to the user groups in Massachusetts for weed management in various turfgrass conditions. Also, this information leads to Weed Control Recommendation Guide to Turfgrass for New England States.

  • Cultural management of weeds in cool-season turfgrass
  • Strategies to reduce herbicide uses by integrated weed management practices
  • Tolerance of turfgrass species and cultivars under NTEP to new registered herbicides
  • Evaluation of new herbicides and bio-control products
  • Developing weed management guides in turfgrass for New England States
  • Providing weed management information to golf course superintendents and other stake holders.

Weed Biology/Ecology

Dr. Prasanta C. Bhowmik:  The Weed Biology and Ecology program addresses many of the fundamental and challenging issues in weed science: What is a weed? Why does a weed occur in a given environment? How fast will a species grow and reproduce? Does a species influence any habitat for invasion of other species?

  • Biology and invasion of Kyllinga species
  • Ecology and adaptation of invasive weeds to climate change  
  • Allelopathic activity of indigenous rice cultivars and other species

Current Research Collaborations

Dr. Prasanta C. Bhowmik:  International Level: Identification and chemistry of allelochemicals in indigenous rice cultivars are being conducted along with faculty members from Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Bangladesh and from The University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.  National Level: “Management of Japanese knotweed and restoration of invaded sites by reversing plant-soil feedbacks” is our ongoing research since 2004, and are collaborated with faculty members from Clemson University and University of Massachusetts Amherst. The restoration project continues (2017-2020).

Weed Management and Poisonous Plants

Mr. Randall Prostak, UMass Extension Weed Specialist.  Topics: Agriculture, Commercial Agriculture

UMass Extension Weed Herbarium

Randy Prostak has developed this online weed herbarium. Currently, he maintains this excellent herbarium.

Weed Management in Cranberry Production

Dr. Hilary Sandler, Extension Associate Professor & Director, UMass Cranberry Station, East Wareham.
Dr. Sandler is a member of the Graduate Faculty and adjunct in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the Plant Biology program.  She has mentored undergraduate and graduate students throughout her career and is willing to pursue opportunities to train new students.

Research and Extension Projects:

  • Factors that influence the dynamics of crop and weed ecology within the cranberry production system.
  • Incorporation of novel technologies (e.g., UAS, applicators) for weed management.
  • Development and implementation of nonchemical pest management, especially weeds.
  • Investigations on the vine establishment, weed colonization, and fertilizer management.
  • Effect of hand-held flame cultivation on perennial weeds and dodder.
  • Evaluation of new products for pest management.
  • Extension responsibilities include providing information to cranberry growers.

Dr. Katherine Ghantous, Research Associate, Cranberry IPM
Specialist: Integrated Weed Management, Weed Science