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Crop Science Society celebrates two UTIA turf specialists

December 21st, 2016
Among the awards presented by the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) at its November 6-9 annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, were two significant honors for Unniversity of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture members. The Society's annual awards recognize outstanding contributions to agronomy through education, national and international service, and research.

For his career achievements in areas of turfgrass science and Extension, John Stier, associate dean of the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, was inducted as a Fellow of the Society. Fellow is the highest recognition bestowed by the organization. Members of the Society nominate worthy colleagues based on their professional achievements and meritorious service. Only up to 0.3 percent of the Society's active and emeritus members may be elected Fellow.

Stier's research revolves around various environmental issues and management of turfgrass, such as nutrient and pesticide fate, invasive grasses, and carbon sequestration, as well as shade and cold stress, herbicides, and weed management. The Society previously honored him with its Martin and Ruth Massengale Lectureship, established to support a distinguished scientist who has made significant contributions to new and innovative research in crop physiology and metabolism, turfgrass science, or forage and grazing lands.

Stier's career contributions in the turfgrass industry have received other significant awards. These include the Robert G. and Hazel T. Spitze Land Grant Faculty Award presented for excellence in teaching, research, and science by the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; the Pound Extension Award presented by the UW-College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; and the Excellence in Research Award from Seed Research of Oregon. He has also been recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency for the University of Wisconsin-Madison's integrated pest management program. In addition to participation in many state and regional turfgrass conferences in the United States, Stier has lectured in Argentina and Germany on turf issues.

The Society presented its Young Crop Scientist Award to Jim Brosnan, associate professor in the UT Department of Plant Sciences and director of the new UT Weed Diagnostics Center. This award is designed to recognize young crop scientists who have made an outstanding contribution in any area of crop science by the age of forty.

In his research, Brosnan focuses on strategies for controlling unique and problematic weeds of turfgrass systems, particularly phenotypes with resistance to herbicides. He has published more than eighty-eight peer-reviewed research articles and been recognized by both the Northeastern and Southern Weed Science Societies for his work.

Brosnan's Extension programs aim to provide education and diagnostic support to Tennessee's $5.8 billion turfgrass industry. He also provides committee and editorial service to numerous organizations, including the CSSA, the Weed Science Society of America, International Turfgrass Society, and both the Golf Course Superintendents and Sports Turf Managers Associations.

In addition, Jesse Benelli of the UT turf program won best graduate student research presentation for discussion of research on the influence of spray rate volume and surfactant technology on large patch (Rhizoctonia solani) control. Graduate students Kyley Dickson and Eric Reasor received Stiegler Travel Awards, which are given to help future scholars participate in the conference.

Provided by University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

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