The executive board of Wageningen University & Research has appointed Bernhard R. Leinauer as Professor for Turfgrass Ecology by Special Appointment. With this appointment, Wageningen wants to substantially contribute to sustainable establishment and management of sports fields. The professorship will be financed by the Dutch Turfgrass Research Foundation (DTRF).
Bernhard Leinauer is Professor of Turfgrass Sciences in the Plant Sciences Department at New Mexico State University (USA) since 2000. He will work as part-time professor Wageningen University & Research starting April 1, 2017.
Bernhard grew up in the German Federal State of Bavaria and received his MSc and PhD at the Hohenheim University. His doctorate research focused on ‘Irrigation Effects on Water Use, Drought Stress Tolerance, and Recuperative Ability of Several Turfgrasses’. During his working career Bernhard did research on golf course grass at various US universities.
In the management of golf courses and other turfgrass sports fields sustainability and playability are major factors. Important elements are the pressure on the use of water and fertiliser as well as the impending prohibition of the use of plant protection chemicals. The turfgrass research of Bernhard Leinauer in Wageningen will focus on healthy soil and healthy plants. Problems in this domain require a long-term approach to successfully realise high quality and sustainable development, renovation and maintenance methods in sports fields.
The Dutch Turfgrass Research Foundation (DTRF), which includes representatives of the Royal Dutch Golf Federation (NGF), the Dutch Association of Golf Courses (NVG), and the Dutch Green keepers Association (NGA) provides funding and will position and facilitate the professorship. In order to instigate and define specific research projects, the Turfgrass Research Advisory Board was established. In this board experts with practical experience, Wageningen University & Research and the business community, as well as the Scandinavian Turfgrass Environment & Research Foundation (STERF) and the renowned Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) from the UK are represented.