Rutgers has had a long standing position as one of the leaders in turfgrass research. In 1960, Dr. Funk became the first full-time cool-season turfgrass breeder at a university in the United States. Dr. Funk had a productive career that spanned over four decades, and during his tenure produced hundreds of new turfgrass varieties, revolutionizing the turf seed industry. Dr. Funk was responsible for developing landmark cultivars of ryegrass, tall fescue, bluegrass and fine fescue.
Dr. Bill Meyer, turfgrass breeder, joined the program in 1996, and is widely recognized as one of the world"s leading breeders of cool-season turfgrasses and is the associate director of the Turfgrass Center. Under Dr. Meyer"s direction the turf breeding program has been very productive with continued successes.
In 2003 Stacy Bonos, Ph.D., assistant professor and currently turfgrass breeder at Rutgers, joined the program and was recently awarded the Early Career Excellence in Plant Breeding Award by the multi-state Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee.