Chase Straw, Ph.D., 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. His duties will be 30% teaching and 70% research.

Chase Straw
Chase Straw is a new turfgrass scientist in the Texas A&M University Soil and Crop Sciences Department. (Texas A&M photo by Beth Luedeker)

Straw comes to College Station from St. Paul, Minnesota, where he held a postdoctoral position at the University of Minnesota Department of Horticulture.

A native of Frankfort, Kentucky, he earned his bachelor’s degree in plant and soil sciences from the University of Kentucky. He then went on to earn both his master’s and doctorate degrees in crop and soil science-turfgrass science from the University of Georgia.

“My primary research interest focuses on precision turfgrass management,” Straw said. “This involves interdisciplinary approaches aimed at understanding the variability of turfgrass systems in order to develop practical strategies for reducing inputs and improving the overall user experience.”

He also conducts general turfgrass management and physiology research that addresses issues faced by the turfgrass management professionals and the turfgrass industry as a whole.

Straw’s teaching role will begin this fall semester. He will teach undergraduate courses in turfgrass management systems and turfgrass maintenance and oversee undergraduate research.  He will join Ben Wherley, Ph.D., associate professor and AgriLife Research turfgrass ecologist, to co-teach Professional Development in Turfgrass Science.

Until then, Straw said he will be focusing on his research and forming relationships with collaborators throughout Texas. He will also co-advise the Aggie Turf Club and turf students.

“I am extremely excited to be in this position at Texas A&M,” Straw said. “I look forward to meeting and getting to know everyone in the department.”

Straw is a member of the International Society of Precision Agriculture, Turfgrass Producers International, Crop Science Society of America, the Sports Turf Managers Association and Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

While a graduate student, he received the Chris Stiegler Turf Science Fellowship from the Crop Science Society of America. He received the Dr. James Watson Scholarship from the Sports Turf Managers Association as both a graduate and undergraduate.

This article by Beth Luedeker first appeared in the Aggie Agenda.

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