Dr. B. Todd Campbell, a research geneticist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center in Florence, S.C., is the recipient of the 2017 Cotton Genetics Research Award.
The announcement was made during the 2018 Beltwide Cotton Improvement Conference, which convened as part of the National Cotton Council-coordinated 2018 Beltwide Cotton Conferences. In recognition, Dr. Campbell received a plaque and a monetary award.
Dr. Campbell, whose cotton breeding efforts have focused on cotton genetic resources, climate resiliency, and germplasm enhancement, led the development and release of 10 high quality cotton germplasm lines, four randomly mated cotton populations, and 16 cotton germplasm lines.
One of his nominators, Dr. Jack McCarty, a research agronomist at the Southeast Area, Crop Science Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University, said Dr. Campbell has produced high quality cotton germplasm and that evaluation of his cotton lines under drought conditions on his research plots are proving invaluable to the development of improved cotton germplasm with genetic diversity for stress.
McCarty noted that Campbell has been recognized by his peers for his contribution to cotton improvement research and excellence by positions of responsibility given him, i.e. associate editor of Crop Science, editor of the Journal of Plant Registrations, and a member of the National Cotton Variety Test Committee, to name a few.
Another nominator, Dr. David Stelly, a professor in Texas A&M University’s Department of Soil & Crop Sciences, said Dr. Campbell continues to make unique and significant contributions to cotton breeding and genetics through his research. His programs encompass a wide range of conventional, non-conventional, technological and biotechnological approaches to cotton genetic research and improvements, and he is highly integrated into the community through numerous collaborations on a wide range of cotton research and breeding endeavors.
Stelly said that Campbell also has taken on exceptionally active roles in scientific organizations, efforts that provide a lot of subliminal and very positive exposure for cotton breeding and genetics to the greater scientific community.
“Such exposure will hopefully lead to better recognition and higher regard of cotton breeders and researchers among the majority of administrators, breeders and researchers, who have little or no direct knowledge or our community and excellent work that we do,” Stelly noted.
Dr. Campbell has received multiple awards and honors. He was given the American Society of Agronomy/Crop Science Society of America/Soil Science Society of America Early Career Professional Award in 2009 and was the USDA-ARS South Atlantic Area Early Career Scientist of the Year in 2011. He was a named a Fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society in 2016.
Dr. Campbell received a B.S. in Biochemistry from North Carolina State University. He earned a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he worked as a graduate research assistant in the university’s Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. He was a plant breeder at the California Cooperative Rice Research Foundation in Biggs, Calif., from 2002-2004 before moving to the Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center in Florence.
The annual cotton Genetics Research Award was established in 1961 by U.S. commercial cotton breeders to recognize and encourage basic research in cotton genetics, cytogenetics and breeding. It is administered by the Joint Cotton Breeding Committee consisting of representatives of the NCC, the USDA, state experiment stations, Cotton Incorporated and commercial breeders.