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American Society of Agronomy presents 2008 Fellows

October 27, 2008

MADISON, WI, October 24, 2008 -- The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) recognized the following individuals as 2008 ASA Fellows at a special Awards Ceremony during their Annual Meeting on Oct. 5-9 in Houston, TX.

ASA has been selecting outstanding members as Fellows since 1924. Members of the Society nominate worthy colleagues based on their professional achievements and meritorious service. Only .3 percent of the Society's active and emeritus members may be elected Fellow. The 2008 class of ASA Fellows are:
  • Kassim Al-Khatib - Kansas State University. Kassim Al-Khatib is a professor in the Agronomy Department at Kansas State University. Dr. Al-Khatib received a B.S. from University of Baghdad and Ph.D. from Kansas State University. He has research and teaching responsibilities, with his research focus on plant-environment-herbicides interactions and herbicide-resistant plants. Al-Khatib is the president of Council of Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) and was president of the Western Society of Weed Science. He serves as associate editor for the International Journal of Agronomy and has been active in the Weed Science of America, Western Society of Weed Science, and North Central Weed Society. He and a colleague introduced herbicide-resistant sorghum technology, which will be commercialized in the near future.

  • Harold E. Balbach - Army Engineer Research & Development Center. Harold Balbach is a senior research biologist with the Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Champaign, IL. He received a B.S. degree from Chicago State University and M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Illinois-Urbana. His research focus is on environmental impact analysis, demand modeling, and land management, especially endangered species concerns. He has been active in the Ecological Society of America, the American Society for Horticultural Science, and is a fellow of the Society of American Military Engineers.

  • Silvia R. Cianzio - Iowa State University. Silvia R. Cianzio is a professor in the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University. Dr. Cianzio received a B.S. at the University of Uruguay, and M.S. and Ph.D. from Iowa State University. Her program focuses on breeding for disease, pest, and abiotic stress resistance in soybean. She has served as an associate editor for Crop Science, Division C-1 Crop Breeding and Genetics, and has been active in the Crop Science Society of America, the International Group on Iron Nutrition and Interaction in Plants, and the Puerto Rico Seed Research Association.

  • Maria Gallo - University of Florida. Maria Gallo is a professor and molecular biologist in the Agronomy Department at the University of Florida. She received a B.S. from Cornell University, and M.S. and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. Her research is on crop biotechnology with a focus on improving peanut seed traits and enhancing sugarcane as a bioenergy crop. Dr. Gallo is a Fulbright Scholar who has served as an associate editor for Crop Science, and currently serves in that role for Peanut Science, and BioEnergy Research.

  • Rajendra Malhotra - ICARDA. Rajinder Malhotra is a senior chickpea breeder at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Aleppo, Syria. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Punjab Agricultural University and Ph.D. from Meerut University in India. His program focuses on breeding chickpea with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses with good agronomic background and quality traits for international environments. Malhotra has been active in human resource development in food legume research throughout the world.

  • A. Colin McClung - IRRI/CIAT. A. Colin McClung is retired after 43 years, with the last ten devoted to research in the United States and Brazil. His early research focus was on national research systems in developing countries and to research management in two international research centers: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Centro International de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) where he was second in command and to establishing and supervising agricultural research and development projects worldwide. He was based abroad for 23 years, having lived in Brazil, Colombia, Philippines, Thailand, and India. He received a B.S. at West Virginia University and M.S. and Ph.D. at Cornell University.

  • Michael J. McLaughlin - CSIRO. Michael McLaughlin is chief research scientist and director of CSIRO Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research in Adelaide, Australia and professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide. He has worked in three continents and focuses primarily on soil and environmental chemistry. Dr. McLaughlin looks at the behavior and toxicity of nutrients and contaminants in soil-plant system, the assessment and remediation of contaminated soils, and use of advanced techniques to measure and monitor nutrients and pollutants in the environment.

  • J. Paul Murphy - North Carolina State University. J. Paul Murphy is a professor and small grains breeder in the Department of Crop Science at North Carolina State University. He also serves as assistant director of the Center for Plant Breeding and Applied Plant Genomics. Dr. Murphy received a B.Agr.Sc. degree from University College Dublin, and M.S. and PhD. from Iowa State University. His program focuses on wheat and oat breeding. Murphy served as the Division C-1 Crop Breeding and Genetics Representative to the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America Boards of Directors, and has been active with the Golden Opportunity Scholars program, and the National Oat and Wheat Improvement Committees.

  • Francis J. Pierce - Washington State University. Francis J. Pierce is director of the Center for Precision Agricultural Systems and professor in the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences and Biological Systems Engineering at Washington State University. He received a in geology from the State Univeristy of New York-Brockport and M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Minnesota. His program focuses on soil management and precision agriculture. He was elected as the 2009 President-Elect of the American Society of Agronomy and will serve as president in 2010.

  • Alan J. Schlegel - Kansas State University. Alan Schlegel is a professor and agronomist in the Southwest Research-Extension Center at Kansas State University. He received a B.S. degree from Kansas State University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University. His program focuses on nutrient and water management in dryland and limited irrigated cropping systems. Dr. Schlegel has served as associate editor for Agronomy Journal and is currently serving as associate editor for Soil Science Society of America Journal. He has served on several ASA-CSSA-SSSA committees.

  • J. Grover Shannon - University of Missouri. J. Grover Shannon is professor of soybean genetics and breeding in the Division of Crop Sciences at the University of Missouri. He received a B.S. from Mississippi State University and M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University. His program focuses on soybean genetics and breeding for enhanced yield, multiple pest resistance, tolerance to abiotic stresses, and improved oil quality. Dr. Shannon has served on the Soybean Crop Registration Committee of the Crop Science Society of America and has been active in the American Seed Trade Association.

  • Peter R. Thomison - The Ohio State University. Peter Thomison is professor and extension agronomist in corn cropping systems at The Ohio State University. Dr. Thomison received a B.A. from Duke University, M.S. from Purdue University, and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. His applied research and extension program focuses on identifying and promoting cultural practices that improve the efficiency and profitability of corn production. He has served as chair of Division A-4 Extension Education and C-3, and associate editor for Agronomy Journal and Crop Management.

  • Michael L. Thompson - Iowa State University. Michael Thompson is a professor in the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University. He received a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in Agronomy from Ohio State University. His teaching and research programs focus on environmental soil chemistry and mineralogy. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Environmental Quality. He has served as chair of Soil Science Society of America's Division S-9 (Soil Mineralogy) and on numerous other committees in the SSSA and the American Society of Agronomy.

  • Dennis J. Timlin. Dennis Timlin is a Soil Scientist with the USDA-ARS Crop Systems and Global Change Lab, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD. He earned his B.A. Degree from SUNY Buffalo, NY and his M.S. and Ph.D degrees from Cornell University. His program is directed toward quantifying the effects of environmental variables on crop growth and soil processes. He has served as an associate editor for the Agronomy Journal, will serve as division chair for A-3 in 2009 and is an active member of the Biological Systems Simulation Group.

  • H. Allen Torbert - USDA-ARS National Soil Dynamics Lab, Auburn, AL. H. Allen Torbert is the research leader and soil scientist at the USDA-ARS National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, AL. Dr. Torbert received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Auburn University and Ph.D. from University of Illinois. His program focuses on soil fertilizer practices, crop residues, tillage requirements and animal waste treatment for crop management systems. He served as associate editor for Soil Science Society of America Journal and several ASA-CSSA-SSSA committees. Dr. Torbert is active in the International Soil Tillage Research Organization as Treasurer.

  • Hari D. Upadhyaya - International Corps Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. Hari D Upadhyaya is a principal scientist in genetic resources at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, India. He earned his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Plant Breeding from GB Pant University of Agric. & Tech. Pantnagar, India. His research focuses on assessing crop diversity using morphological traits and molecular markers, and identifying germplasm lines for use by breeders in the dryland crops such as chickpea, pigeonpea, peanut, sorghum, pearl millet and six small millets, using core and mini-core collection approaches.

  • Daniel T. Walters - University of Nebraska. Dan Walters is a professor of Soil Science in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois, and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. His research emphasis has been the study of nitrogen and carbon cycling in intensively managed agroecosystems. Dr. Walters was associate editor for the Journal of Production Agriculture and serves on the steering and design committees of the Smithsonian Soils Exhibit.

  • Ole Wendroth - University of Kentucky. Ole Wendroth is an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Kentucky. He received a Diploma and Ph.D. degree from the University of Goettingen, and his Habilitation degree from Technical University of Berlin, Germany. He works in soil landscape research with respect to water and solute transport, and biomass development. Dr. Wendroth served as an associate editor for Journal of Environmental Quality, and Agronomy Journal, and is currently technical editor for Agronomy Journal, and associate editor for Soil Science Society of America Journal and Vadose Zone Journal.

  • Hailin Zhang - Oklahoma State University. Hailin Zhang is a professor of soil science in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Oklahoma State University. He is the holder of the Santelmann/Warth Distinguished Professorship. He serves as the director of the Soil, Water and Forage Analytical Laboratory and Extension Specialist of nutrient management. He received a B.S. degree from Nanjing Agricultural University, China, M.S. degree from Iowa State University, and Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota. His program focuses mainly on plant nutrient management and environmental protection. Dr. Zhang served as an associate editor for Agronomy Journal and is serving as an associate editor for Soil Science Society of America Journal, and has been active in American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and many regional committees.

For more information on the recipients or on the awards presented, please view the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Awards Program PDF online, Photos of the recipients are available to view and download online at: For additional assistance, contact Sara Uttech, 608-268-4948,

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

American Society of Agronomy

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