Advisor: Dr. Grady Miller
Biography: Casey grew up in Midland, NC and came to NC State in 1996 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Crop Science, Turfgrass Management. Upon completion of his B.S. degree in 2000, he began his graduate program and obtained his Master of Science degree in 2003, in the same curriculum. While pursuing both degrees from 96-03, he also performed several summer internships including one summer with Green Acres Landscaping, two summers at Pine Lake Country Club and Providence Country Club as well as four summers with Carolina Green Corporation, which specializes in athletic field construction.
After graduating in 2003 with his M.S. degree, Casey was offered a position at NC State University as a research/extension associate with Dr. Art Bruneau, the NC State turfgrass extension specialist. He also spent 2003-08 in the lawn care industry as owner/operator of Graduate Degree Turf, in Raleigh, NC. Most recently, Casey was hired by Dr. Susanna Milla-Lewis as a research associate in the NCSU Turfgrass Breeding program and also entered graduate school in Jan 2008 to pursue a doctorate degree in Crop Science, Turfgrass Management with an anticipated graduation date of 2012-13.
Casey’s work with Dr. Milla-Lewis include breeding efforts to improve many of the turfgrass species commonly used in North Carolina including Tall fescue, Perennial ryegrass, Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, and St. Augustinegrass. He also conducts evaluations on the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) Trials hosted here at NC State including Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, St. Augustinegrass, Tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and Creeping bentgrass. In addition to these research responsibilities, Casey also gives 20-30 extension presentations statewide each year on a variety of topics.
Description of Projects: Casey’s graduate research project is to evaluate the effects of athletic field paint on turfgrass growth parameters. Paint often has many detrimental effects on turfgrass growth with little explanation regarding what specific effect(s) are responsible for injury. Over the next 2-3 years, he will conduct field, growth chamber, and lab research to determine exactly why these harmful effects are often observed. Turfgrass injury is often dependent upon several different factors including turfgrass species, application method, rate, and timing, as well as paint color, manufacturer, and formulation. Current planned projects include evaluating turfgrass photosynthesis, transpiration, and carbohydrate production based on many of these factors. In addition to plant processes, he also plans to evaluate light transmission properties of various paint colors and manufacturers as well as to determine if paint physically enters the plant causing damage, or if these effects are strictly superficial.