The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Erik Ervin, the interim department head and assistant dean of academic programs in the department of crop and soil environmental sciences, for his work that focuses on turf grass management and stress from heat, cold, and drought.
Ervin’s area of specialization is the adaptation and cultural management requirements for warm- and cool-season turfgrass species used on roadsides, lawns, parks, athletic fields, and golf courses. He looks at the physiology and ecology of turfgrass responses to environmental stress and the use of synthetic and natural plant growth regulators for improved stress response.
His research program focuses on strategies to improve irrigation and fertilization efficiency of container-grown crops with the intent to reduce water use and decrease fertilizer pollution. Upcoming research opportunities will include water quality monitoring on Virginia golf courses, development of an integrated (nutritional and chemical) approach to Poa annua control in creeping bentgrass putting greens, testing of novel plant growth regulators for improved cool-season turfgrass heat and drought tolerance, and projects regarding climatic adaptation of Zoysia and Cynodon species.
Ervin received his bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Iowa State University, and his master’s and Ph.D. in horticulture from Colorado State University.
He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.