Profile: Dr. Michael Fidanza is a Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences at Penn State Berks. Fidanza’s research focus is turfgrass ecology, the evaluation of plant health products (i.e., fungicides, herbicides, plant growth regulators), soil surfactants, seed technology, and cultural practices (fertilizers, biostimulants) in turfgrass ecosystems, and the biology and ecology of fairy ring disease in turfgrass. Fidanza also investigates the benefits and uses of mushroom compost for the lawn and landscape, crop production, and the environment. All research involves collaborations with scientists from many other academic institutions as well as industry. Dr. Fidanza is active in the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and many other academic, professional, and trade organizations particulary in the green industry. He was Co-Chair of the Bouyoucos Conference on Constructed Rootzones. Fidanza has conducted seminars and workshops in Scotland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Japan, China, Canada, Italy, and many other countries. He has established the “Valentine East” research and teaching facility at Penn State Berks Campus.
Fidanza also conducts pedagogical research, and teaches undergraduate courses in BIOLOGY 120A (Plants, Places, and People), BIOLOGY 496 (Independent Research), TURF 230 (Turfgrass Pesticides), TURF 235 (The Turfgrasses), TURF 297 (Special Topics), and SOILS 101 (Introductory Soils), and a graduate course in TURF 850 (Turfgrass Physiology). He also has responsibilities with undergraduate student advising.
Dr. Fidanza has received the Outstanding Research Award for Penn State Berks Campus, Outstanding Service Award for Penn State Berks Campus, Howard O. Beaver Outstanding Community Service Award for Penn State Berks Campus, Outstanding Educator Award from the Northeastern Weed Science Society of America, Outstanding Teaching Award from the Northeastern Branch ASA-CSSA-SSSA, and was Past-President of the Northeastern Branch ASA-CSSA-SSSA, and former Editor of the International Turfgrass Society Research Journal.