Dr. Thierry Besançon is Assistant Extension Specialist in Weed Science at the P.E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research. Before moving to the United States, he worked for 10 years in Europe on pests and disease management in stone fruit production. There, he also focused on the development of Integrated Pest Management threshold models and the prediction of fruit shelf life in cold rooms. Besançon received his Ph.D. in Crop Science from North Carolina State University, where he spent five years working on weed control through cultural practices and crop allelopathy in sorghum and other row crops of the southeastern United States. In 2016, he moved to New Jersey to begin his work for Rutgers University.
While his primary research at Rutgers is weed control in cranberry and blueberry, he is also responsible for developing sustainable weed management strategies for many different specialty crops including vegetables, tree fruit, and vineyards. In addition to his herbicide research program, Dr. Besançon investigates alternative weed management strategies, such as the use of cover crops, to help reduce the potential for herbicide resistance development. Dr. Besançon is also involved in the evaluation of remote sensing and drone technology for early weed detection and integrated weed management in cranberry and blueberry productions. One of the many focuses of his work at the P.E. Marucci Center is Carolina redroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana), a native species of New Jersey and a very unique competitive weed of cranberry bogs. Some of his recent work has included the evaluation of various control strategies in field experimentations as well as determining how various environmental factors may affected the vegetative growth and rhizomatic propagation of this remarkable weed species.
Other involvements include research for the IR-4 project, teaching classes at Rutgers University, as well as collaborations with other weed scientists in the eastern United States on the publication of the Mid-Atlantic Field Crop Weed Management guide as well as the Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations. He is deeply involved in training and educating growers and extension personnel. Dr. Besançon has recently published papers in Weed Science, Weed Technology, Agronomy Journal, Advances in Agriculture, and the International Journal of Agronomy and Crop Sciences.