Dr. Matthew Jeffries and Dr. David Jespersen have both been chosen to receive a Musser International Turfgrass Foundation Award of Excellence for 2017. The annual awards are presented to outstanding doctoral students of turfgrass science who have made significant and innovative contributions to turfgrass science research. This year’s recipients were each presented with a $35,000 cash award.
Jeffries completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at North Carolina State University, focusing on pesticide environmental fate in turfgrass systems. Jeffries has accepted a position as a pesticide environmental fate field scientist at BASF Corporation in Research Park Triangle, N.C. “Being selected for the Musser Award of Excellence is the highlight of my career to date,” he said. “On both personal and professional levels, I will cherish this honor for the rest of my life.”
Jespersen received his PhD from Rutgers University in 2016. He studied physiology and molecular biology of heat stress in creeping bentgrass under Dr. Bingru Huang. His thesis title was “Metabolic and Molecular Factors Associated with Heat Induced Leaf Senescence in Agrostis.” He is currently an assistant professor at University of Georgia, where he researches abiotic stress in turfgrasses as a turfgrass physiologist in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. “I am deeply honored to have been selected to receive the Musser Foundation Award of Excellence,” Jespersen said. “The list of previous winners of the award is almost like a Who’s Who of young turf scientists and I am elated to be recognized among their ranks”.
The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation is dedicated to fostering turfgrass management as a learned profession. Named in memory of the pioneering turfgrass scientist Professor H. Burton Musser, the Foundation acknowledges and rewards those individuals who have demonstrated excellence in the doctoral phase of their turfgrass science education and research. These students, the Foundation believes, will be the leaders of turfgrass development and management in the years to come.