NMSU turfgrass expert honored by Crop Science Society of America

New Mexico State University (NMSU) Regents Professor Bernd Leinauer has been nominated and elected as a 2020 Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America.

The award is presented for outstanding contributions to crop science through education, national and international service, and research. The fellow designation is the highest recognition bestowed by the Crop Science Society of America and only 0.3 percent of the members have an opportunity to be elected as a fellow.

Leinauer has been with NMSU since 2000 as the turfgrass specialist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension Service.

“As an Extension specialist, I am especially honored to receive this award, because it recognizes my Extension efforts and dedication to assisting the turfgrass industry as well as our research efforts in urban water conservation,” Leinauer said. “I also want to thank my exceptional team because such an accomplishment is the result of years of hard work by the entire turfgrass team, and they deserve equal credit.”

The award is especially noteworthy because Leinauer has already been awarded American Society of Agronomy Fellow in 2017. Being recognized as a fellow by two separate societies is an accomplishment that very few scientists achieve.

“Bernd has developed a highly successful research and Extension program that has established him and his team as among the leading researchers and Extension experts in the overall field of turfgrass water conservation,” said Rolston St. Hilaire, department head of NMSU’s Plant and Environmental Sciences. “The Department of Extension Plant Sciences is pleased that he is being recognized for his contributions to the turfgrasss industry.” 

Leinauer received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Hohenheim University in Stuttgart, Germany. 

He is internationally recognized as an authority on water management strategies aimed at reducing potable water usage on turfgrass. His research includes the screening of low water use, cold and salt tolerant turfgrasses, maximizing irrigation system efficiency, irrigation with saline water, and subsurface irrigation. 

Leinauer has authored or co-authored a book, a book chapter, and 90 peer-reviewed publications. 

He provides leadership at the international, national and state levels. He has been invited to present his research findings nationally and internationally and has served as invited keynote speaker at several international meetings. 

In addition to his work for NMSU, he also holds the endowed turfgrass chair position at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. 

Leinauer will receive his award virtually, as the National Agronomy Meeting scheduled to be held in Phoenix from Nov. 8-11 is being converted to an online format.

– Written by Jane Moorman, NMSU.