Turfgrass Soil Management and Stress Tolerance
My main area of expertise is turfgrass pathology. Turfgrass diseases cause massive damage and losses to sod farms, golf courses, athletic fields, parks, and home lawns in both Arkansas and globally. My research is centered around how to maintain healthy turfgrass and combat turfgrass diseases with traditional cultural and chemical practices as well as with cutting-edge new technology such as drones and GPS-guided sprayers.
I'm also interested in general management strategies to mitigate abiotic stress to cool- and warm-season turfgrasses. This includes management practices to reduce winter injury to warm-season grasses, proper application methods for plant growth regulators and demethylase inhibiting fungicides, and planting drought-tolerant native grasses as lawn alternatives.
The University of Arkansas turf research program (in collaboration with Dr. Michael Richardson) continues to be a leader in developing innovative methods to objectively evaluate turfgrass quality using digital image analysis. Following the success of techniques developed to evaluate turf cover and color, the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program has funded research to incorporate these techniques into their variety trials. More recently methods have been developed to evaluate ball lie, ball mark injury, and ball mark recovery. Several leading turfgrass research universities have incorporated this technology into their study evaluations. This research continues to benefit all end-users of data generated from turfgrass research institutions using digital image analysis.