MSU names new chairperson for Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences

Brian Horgan has been named chairperson for the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, effective September 2019.

Brian Horgan has been named chairperson for the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences (PSM) in the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), effective September 2019.

Since 2001, Horgan has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota, most recently serving as a professor and extension turfgrass horticulturist. His research focuses on the transport and fate of pesticides and nutrients in turfgrass systems, as well as water conservation strategies.

In his outreach role, Horgan worked closely with turfgrass managers in Minnesota and around the country, employing his expertise in golf course management.

“Dr. Horgan brings great experience to our college, and he has a deep understanding of the importance of our land-grant mission,” said Ron Hendrick, dean of CANR. “He’s a renowned turfgrass researcher and outreach specialist, in addition to his teaching background. We’re fortunate to have his leadership within one of our departments, and I look forward to working with him.”

In recognition of his contributions to the turfgrass industry, Horgan was presented the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents Association President’s Award. He is the past chair of the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program advisory committee, past chair of the Turfgrass Science division of the Crop Science Society and science editor for Turf News.

An MSU alumnus who received his bachelor’s degree from the university, Horgan also earned a doctorate from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree from North Carolina State University.

“I am thrilled to be back on Michigan State’s campus in PSM, working hand-in-hand with students, staff and faculty in the promotion of a sustainable and economically sound agriculture ecosystem,” Horgan said. “I am honored and grateful for this opportunity.”

Horgan is replacing James Kells as chairperson of PSM. Kells has been with the department for 40 years, including 14 as chairperson — first with Crop and Soil Sciences beginning in 2005, and then with PSM in 2012 when Crop and Soil Sciences merged with Plant Pathology to form a single department. Kells will remain with PSM and assume new responsibilities.

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