Dr. Michael Fidanza is a professor of plant and soil sciences at Penn State Berks. His research and teaching focuses are turfgrass ecology, the translational evaluation and exploration of plant health products (fungicides, herbicides, and plant growth regulators), soil surfactants, seed technology, bio stimulants, turfgrass physiology, cultural practices in turfgrass ecosystems, and the biology and ecology of fairy ring disease in turf. He is the director of Penn State's Center for the Agricultural Sciences and a Sustainable Environment, and he is a Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy.
Dr. David Huff is a research scientist who performs basic and applied genetics on a wide range of grass species, including some native to North America. In the area of crop improvement, his program focuses on enhancing turf quality, seed yield, persistence, disease resistance, and tolerance to salinity and extreme temperatures (both heat and cold). He also performs a range of genomic investigations on the reproductive biology of these grasses, including such systems as apomixis, dioecy, and fungal-induced hermaphroditism.
Dr. Andrew McNitt is the director of Penn State's Center for Sports Surface Research, where he conducts research relating to athletic field surface characterization and golf green construction and maintenance. As the technical adviser to the NFL Groundskeepers Organization, he oversees the NFL field certification and serves on several committees at the League level.
Dr. Max Schlossberg's comprehensive instructional approach supports effective management of turfgrass in every hemisphere. His primary research focuses on developing fertilizer programs to optimize resilience, playability, and nutrient use efficiency of turfgrass systems. His laboratory team has identified cultural methods for rapid soil pH optimization of turfgrass root zones, enhanced efficiency mechanisms of N fertilizers, factors controlling soil water repellency development, and topographic dependence of soils fertility.
Dr. Wakar Uddin teaches resident and online courses tailored to fit the specific needs of the students in their profession. The classes provide insights to biology of pathogens, epidemiology, and integrated management practices. The graduate course provides insights to research publications relevant to their professional career. In research, development of innovative approaches to disease management through integration of host defense response elicitors, population biology, and detection and quantification of inoculum are devised as important components of sustainable disease management strategies.
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