Rodrigo was born in a small farming community of Dutch immigrants in the state of Sao Paulo, in southeastern Brazil. His early passion for agriculture led him to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy from Sao Paulo State University, Brazil. He earned his MS and PhD in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a PhD student, he evaluated the distribution and mechanism of acetolactate synthase (ALS) herbicide resistance in grasses, and developed a simulation model to assess management options to mitigate the risk of ALS resistance evolution in shattercane in potential ALS-tolerant sorghum (Inzen technology, DuPont) production areas of the Great Plains. The results of his PhD work assisted DuPont with the development of the Best Management Practices for the Inzen technology, which is expected to become commercially available in 2018. He received Outstanding Graduate Student Awards from the North Central Weed Science Society (2013) and Weed Science Society of America (2016). From April 2016 through December 2017, Rodrigo represented UNL as an Assistant Professor and Cropping Systems Specialist at the West Central Research and Extension Center. The objective of his program was to conduct research and extension programming to increase profitability, productivity and sustainability of irrigated and dryland cropping systems with limited water in Nebraska and beyond.
Rodrigo recently joined UW-Madison as an Assistant Professor and Extension Cropping Systems Weed Scientist. He will establish a research program that focuses on agroecologically-based approaches to address sustainable weed management in corn, soybeans, and small grains. It will also focus on weed management strategies that can help protect water quality, enhance agroecosystems services and increase food security. Training growers, crop scouts, and agronomists on proper weed identification, herbicide selection, and application in collaboration with the UW-Extension Pesticide Applicator Training Programs will be one of his efforts. The development of multimedia tools (e.g. YouTube videos and mobile apps) that can make information readily accessible to growers and agronomists will also be part of his outreach program.
Rodrigo is excited to join the team and provide Wisconsin stakeholders research-based information for weed management.