James Brosnan, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, conducts nationally- and world-renowned turfgrass and weed science programs. He specializes in turfgrass weed science, with research in two main areas: maximizing herbicide efficacy through the incorporation of proper turfgrass cultural practices, and using meteorological data to quantify changes in weed phenology that render herbicide applications more efficacious. Both of these objectives have an end goal of providing stakeholders with effective, economical, and environmentally friendly strategies for controlling turfgrass weeds on golf courses, athletic fields, lawns, sod farms, and highway rights-of-way. He has placed particular emphasis on athletic field management, serving as a Co-Director of the UT Center for Athletic Field Safety. This Center is funded in part by a $3.5 million dollar gift from AstroTurf, Inc. acquired by Brosnan and colleagues.
Brosnan has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles since 2008, including cardinal data on the cellulose biosynthesis inhibiting herbicide indaziflam for control of key weeds such as Digitaria ischaemum and Poa annua. Recently, Brosnan’s lab published a manuscript in Weed Science documenting the first instance of a turfgrass weed exhibiting resistance to the herbicide glyphosate here in Tennessee, and they are now conducting research focused on managing herbicide resistance in our state.