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USDA-ARS scientist wins physiology research award

Philip Bauer, a USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist, received the 2009 Outstanding Research Award in Cotton Physiology. The award, which award recognizes exceptional achievements in cotton research, was presented at the recent 2009 Beltwide Cotton Agronomy and Physiology Conference in San Antonio.

Bauer was selected for the award by a committee of industry peers and is most prominently known for his research on explaining the resource and knowledge base for cost-effective, environment-friendly crop production systems. He has done this through innovative cooperative research that has significantly contributed to the advancement of conservation tillage management, irrigation in humid regions, and precision agriculture. His agronomic research on cotton is supplying the industry much needed information on cotton fiber quality.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements, he was honored with a $5,000 award check from Arysta Life-Science Inc., which sponsors the award.

Bauer obtained B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He earned his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, where he was a student under Tom Cothren, a previous recipient of the Outstanding Research Award in Cotton Physiology.

Cothren indicated that, “Dr. Bauer has also been closely involved with determining the influence of agronomic practice on fiber quality and ultimately the ability of cotton mills to efficiently utilize fiber. Along with his colleagues, spinning characteristics of fiber was also examined, providing information that is critically important worldwide as the amount of the U.S. cotton crop that is exported to overseas mills continues to increase.”

Bauer has been at the Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center in Florence, S.C., since 1988. He began as a research associate, worked as a research agronomist and then was appointed lead scientist of the location's Cotton Production and Genetics Research project in 1991.

His research has focused on soil, crop, and environment interactions with emphasis on crop nutrition and crop responses to low soil water availability.

Bauer has received several merit awards from USDA for work ranging from conservation tillage management to agronomic effects on cotton fiber quality. He was awarded the Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy in 2007. He has served as an associate editor for Crop Science, Agronomy Journal and the Soil Science Society of America Journal. He also has served as chair and co-chair of the Beltwide Cotton Physiology Conference.

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