My research focuses on the development of low‐input turfgrass cultivars for use in cold climates. Research activities involve germplasm improvement of several cool‐season turfgrass species including fine fescues and perennial ryegrass. I am also involved with turfgrass cultivar evaluation and other turfgrass science research. I teach several courses related to turfgrass management and plant breeding.
HORT 1061: The Sustainable Lawn
HORT 1942: The American Lawn
PLSC 3401: Plant Genetics and Breeding
HORT 4061W: Turfgrass Management
HORT 4062: Turfgrass Weed and Disease Science
HORT 4063: Turfgrass Science
APSC 8280: Plants as Intellectual Property
A major emphasis in recent years has been improving winter hardiness in perennial ryegrass using a number of different field and laboratory approaches including field-based screening, controlled environment evaluation, and metabolomics. My program has also led efforts to identify and improve low-input turfgrasses for various landscapes. In particular, we have demonstrated the usefulness of the underutilized fine fescue species for a number of turf management systems including roadsides, home lawns, and golf courses. We are now in the process of improving these fine fescue species for wider use in these environments through a federally funded multi-state breeding project. We have also made progress improving native prairie junegrass (Koeleria macrantha).
My group is involved with a number of outreach activities including a collaboration with the Met Council to educate Twin Cities residents about reducing lawn water use, a project with USpatial to develop new data-driven tools to help consumers make informed grass seed purchasing decisions, and a project with MnDOT using online education to train stakeholders involved with the installation and management of turfgrasses on roadsides.
Honors and Awards
Crop Science Society of America Teaching Award, 2018
John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, 2016
Center for Transportation Studies Faculty Scholar for 2013-2019
Office of Information Technology Faculty Fellow for 2012-2014
Musser International Turfgrass Foundation Award of Excellence, 2003
Philip C. Hamm Award for outstanding undergraduate in the plant sciences, 1997