Ian Burke

Ian Burke

R.J. Cook Endowed Chair of Wheat Research and Professor 509-335-2858 ITB 1039 PO Box 646420, Pullman, WA 99164 

Curriculum vitae (pdf)

My research program at Washington State University is focused on basic aspects of weed biology and ecology with the goal of integrating such information into practical and economical methods of managing weeds in the environment. Currently, ongoing projects include:

  • Physiological, biological and ecological studies on prickly lettuce, a common and troublesome weed in crops, range, and noncropland throughout the inland Pacific Northwest. Prickly lettuce is an invasive weed with wind dispersed seeds that crosses boundaries at multiple scales – from field borders to regional boundaries.
  • Variation in phenology of downy brome, which is a key factor in the success of the species as an ecological invader of natural areas and competitor within agronomic fields. Prior research documented differing vernalization requirements of downy brome collected from different environments, but no previous work has characterized the connection between phenotypic responses and genotypic control of downy brome vernalization. As most variation in vernalization requirements of related species have been attributed to variation of the vernalization gene VRN1 quantifying the expression of a VRN1 orthologue in downy brome may help explain the genetic controls regulating downy brome phenology.
  • Explore how differences in seed dormancy in downy brome contributes to extensive adaptability in dryland crop production areas in the inland PNW, specifically through delayed germination or germination at multiple times throughout a growing season.
  • Herbicide fate as influenced by the unique inland Pacific Northwest soils. The unique Mediterranean like environment of the PNW, coupled with cool winter temperatures combine to cause herbicides to persist longer than in other small grain production regions.


2019-Present, R.J. Cook Endowed Chair in Wheat Research and Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
2018-2019, Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
2012-2018, Associate Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington.
2006-2012, Assistant Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington.
2005-2006, Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-ARS Southern Weed Science Research Unit, Stoneville, Mississippi.

Ph.D., Weed Science, 2005, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.
M.S., Weed Science, 2002, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.
B.S., Biology, 1996, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA.


Outstanding Young Weed Scientist, Weed Science Society of America, 2015.
Excellence in Research, College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resources, 2011.
Outstanding Weed Scientist, Early Career, Western Society of Weed Science, 2010.
Outstanding Ph.D. Graduate Student Award, Southern Weed Science Society, 2005.
Outstanding Ph.D. Graduate Student Award, Weed Science Society of North Carolina, 2005.
Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Weed Science Society of America, 2003.

Recent Publications

Lewis, T, and Burke, IC. 2020. Vernalization affects absorption and translocation of clopyralid and aminopyralid in rush skeletonweed (Chondrillaq juncea). Weed Sci. 68:445-450.

Adhikari, S, Burke, IC, and Eigenbrode, SD. 2020. Mayweed chamomile (Anthemis cotula L.) biology and management – a review of an emerging global invader. Weed Research 60:313-322.

Manuchehri, MR, Fuerst, EP, Guy, SO, Shafii, B, Pittmann, DL, and Burke, IC. 2020. Growth and development of spring crops in competition with oat in the dryland Mediterranean climate of eastern Washington. Weed Science 68: 646-653.

Koby, LE, TS Prather, Quicke, H, Beuschlein, J, and Burke, IC. 2019. Management of Ventenata dubia in the inland Pacific Northwest with indaziflam. Invasive Plant Sci. Manag. 12:223-228.

Bagavathiannan, M.V., Graham, S., Ma, Z., Barney, JN, Coutts, SR, Caicedo, AL, De Clerck-Floate, R, West, NM, Blank, L, Metcalf, AL, Lacoste, M, Moreno, CR, Evans, JA, Burke, IC, and Beckie, H. 2019. Considering weed management as a social dilemma bridges individual and collective interests. Nature Plants 5 343-351.

Lawrence, NC, Hauvermale, AL, and Burke, IC. 2018. Downy brome (Bromus tectorum) vernalization: variation and genetic controls. Weed Sci. 66:310-316.

Lawrence, NL, Hauvermale, AL, Dhingra, A, and Burke, IC. 2017. Population structure and genetic diversity of Bromus tectorum within the small grain production region of the Pacific Northwest. Ecol. Evol. 7:8316-8328.

Aramrak, AC Steber, C, Kidwell, KK, and Burke, IC. 2017. Isolation of mutations conferring increased glyphosate resistance in spring wheat, Triticum aestivum (L.). Crop Sci. 58:84-97.

Tautges, N, Borrelli, K, Fuerst, EP and Burke, IC. 2016. Competitive ability of rotational crops with weeds in dryland organic wheat production systems. Renew. Ag Food Sys. 32:57-68.

Soltani, N, Dille, AJ, Burke, IC, Everman, WJ, VanGessel, MJ, Davis, VM, and Sikkema, PH. 2016. Potential corn yield losses due to weeds in North America. Weed Technol. 30:979-984.

Tautges, NE, Sullivan, TS, Reardon, CL, and Burke, IC. 2016. Soil microbial diversity and activity linked to crop yield and quality in a dryland organic wheat production system. Appl. Soil Ecol. 108: 258-268.

Bell, JA and Burke, IC. 2015. Genetic and biochemical evaluation of natural rubber from eastern Washington prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola L.). J. Agric. Food Chem. 63:593-602.