Welcome, Dr. Shaohui Wu!
I started my position as a Turfgrass Health Specialist at The Ohio State University in June 2023, and it is my great pleasure to join the fantastic Turf Team of OSU. My interest in turfgrass arose when I pursued my Ph.D. at Virginia Tech, where I studied the management of white grubs with microbial biological control agents and learned the importance of turfgrass and environmental sustainability, while becoming an excellent grub hunter. After graduation, I worked shortly on field crops at Montana State University, but soon I moved back to turfgrass research at Rutgers University, where I worked for four years on the management of annual bluegrass weevil, which has also spread throughout Ohio and is a target pest to control in short-mown turf. It was enjoyable to interact with golf course superintendents and turf professionals and share with interested golfers the importance of my research. Prior to joining OSU, I was employed at University of Georgia for five years, with a research focus on cotton and pecan, which have dramatically different cropping systems from turfgrass.
In the past years, despite that crops may vary, my work has been always focused on the sustainable pest management, especially the use of microbial biopesticides. Sorts of problems may occur from repeated and heavy use of chemical pesticides, for example, soil and water contamination, toxicity to human/ animals/ natural enemies/ pollinators, pesticide resistance, etc. The scenario may become more severe in turf that often needs large area coverage and frequent pesticide applications. At OSU, my job responsibilities include the management of turfgrass pests and diseases for both extension and research. I am interested in exploring for novel and eco-friendly alternatives to alleviate pest and disease pressure, reduce chemical pesticide use, and protect our environment. In the following year, I will work closely with the turf team to evaluate how turf management practices may affect pest and disease occurrence and management. Also, I will be interested in providing educational trainings and share updates on turf pest and disease situations and control strategies. I look forward to serving the turf growers and professionals in Ohio!