Category Archives: Faculty

Prominent researcher to lead Semi-Arid Agricultural Systems Institute

By: Chip Chandler A regional native and nationally prominent researcher in plant breeding has been hired as the director of the Semi-Arid Agricultural Systems Institute at West Texas A&M University in Canyon. Craig Bednarz, Ph.D., an Idalou native, began May 1 in a joint appointment by West Texas A&M, Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Amarillo and the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Bednarz will serve as an associate professor of plant, soil and environmental sciences at West Texas A&M. He will lead and expand… Read More →

McKnight begins AgriLife Extension statewide cotton specialist duties

By: Kay Ledbetter Ben McKnight’s acceptance of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service statewide cotton specialist position is a return to familiar territory. McKnight started April 1 in the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at College Station. Larry Redmon, Ph.D., associate department head and AgriLife Extension program leader for the department, said the Soil and Crop Sciences Extension Unit was excited to have McKnight fill the cotton specialist position in College Station. “Ben is certainly no stranger to Texas having been born and raised… Read More →

Trostle named statewide AgriLife Extension hemp specialist

By: Kay Ledbetter Calvin Trostle, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist, Lubbock, has recently been named the statewide hemp specialist for the agency. “We’ve had a lot of excellent work being done by our AgriLife Extension Industrial Hemp Initiative team to prepare Texas for the production of industrial hemp,” said Dan Hale, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension associate director — agriculture and natural resources, College Station, in announcing the new position. Calvin Trostle speaks to attendees of AgriLife event. “Dr. Trostle has worked tirelessly in this area and has… Read More →

AgriLife Extension hires new small grains specialist

By: Kay Ledbetter The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has hired Fernando Guillen, Ph.D., as the new statewide small grains and oilseed crops specialist in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. He officially started March 1. “Dr. Guillen brings a wealth of agronomic experience to AgriLife Extension’s small grains program, and we are excited to have him joining our department and extension unit,” said Larry Redmon, Ph.D., associate department head and AgriLife Extension program leader for the department. Guillen brings experience Coming to… Read More →

Texas A&M AgriLife researcher Bagavathiannan receives weed science society Early Career Outstanding Scientist Award

By: Kay Ledbetter Texas A&M AgriLife researcher Muthukumar Bagavathiannan, Ph.D., was honored with the Early Career Outstanding Scientist Award by the Weed Science Society of America, WSSA, recently at the society’s annual meeting in Maui, Hawaii. WSSA is the premier weed science society in the U.S. and this is the highest recognition for an early career scientist by the society. The early career award is presented to scientists within the first 10 years of their career past their doctorate who have demonstrated originality and creativity and who have… Read More →

Straw joins Department of Soil and Crop Sciences faculty at Texas A&M University

Dr. Chase Straw has joined Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Research as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences turfgrass program. He will be assuming the duties of retired professor Richard White in a tenure track position which is 30% teaching and 70% research. Straw comes to College Station from St. Paul, Minnesota, where he held a postdoctoral position in the University of Minnesota Department of Horticulture. A native of Frankfort, Kentucky, Straw earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Plant and… Read More →

Engelke receives 2019 turfgrass Breeder’s Cup

Dr. Milt Engelke, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, will receive the Turfgrass Breeders Association’s Breeders Cup Award during the Agronomy Society of America meeting in San Antonio November 13. Engelke earned the honor for his work on Diamond zoysiagrass, released in 1996 under U.S. plant patent 10,636. “We are very fortunate to have leaders and visionaries like Dr. Engelke in the turfgrass industry who have laid a strong foundation for a strong future,” said Dr. Ambika Chandra, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass breeder… Read More →

Redmon among Texas A&M honorees at annual crop, soil science conferences

Writer: Kay Ledbetter A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service leader will be honored along with other Texas A&M faculty and students for their professional achievements Nov. 10-13 in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio. The recognitions will be made by the Crop Sciences Society of America, or CSSA; the American Society of Agronomy, or ASA; and the Soil Sciences Society of America, or SSSA, during their annual conference. ASA Fellow Larry Redmon, Ph.D., will be named an ASA Fellow on Nov. 12. Redmon is the associate… Read More →

In Memory – Dr. Page W. Morgan, 1933-2019

Dr. Page W. Morgan, retired Professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, passed away peacefully in Abilene, Texas, on Friday, Sept. 27. He was 86 years old. Page Wesley Morgan was born on April 3, 1933, to Vernon Page Ikard Morgan and Guy Wesley Morgan, in Phoenix, Arizona, while they were living in a tent city for Depression-era migrants. When his parents returned with him to Texas, he spent his childhood in Wichita Falls and Iowa Park, where he attended school. While in… Read More →

Verhoef joins soil and crop sciences faculty

There is a new face in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences! Aart Verhoef, Ph.D., has joined us as an assistant professor of biophotonics, based in College Station. A native of Holland, Verhoef earned his Master of Science in Physics from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and his Ph.D. in Physics from Ludwig Maximilians Universität (LMU) Munich. While his degrees were in physics, Verhoef also did considerable work on laser development. When he looked for real world applications for lasers, he found biophotonics. “Biophotonics is basically the study of… Read More →