The annual award is presented to an outstanding doctorate student of turfgrass science who has made significant and innovative contributions to turfgrass science research. This year’s winner also receives a $35,000 cash award. The awards committee indicated that Burgess was very deserving of this prestigious honor.
Burgess received his doctorate from the plant biology graduate program at Rutgers University. His dissertation was focused on "Physiological and biochemical factors associated with drought tolerance of creeping bentgrass," under the advisement of Dr. Bingru Huang. Following completion of his degree, Burgess accepted a position with Bayer as the Northeast field development scientist within the Environmental Science division. His primary goal is to drive customer-centric innovation and thought leadership across the turfgrass, ornamental, professional pest management, and vector control markets.
“I am honored to be selected as the 2018 Musser AOE recipient and to collectively sustain the legacy of Professor Musser alongside my peers and colleagues who have won in past years,” Burgess said. “My winning this award would not have been possible without the unwavering support and guidance from countless mentors during my academic career.”
The Musser International Turfgrass Foundation is dedicated to fostering turfgrass management as a learned profession. Named in memory of a 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.