AMES, Iowa – Adam Thoms, a graduate of Iowa State University, has joined ISU Extension and Outreach as a turfgrass specialist. He also will serve as an assistant professor within the university’s Department of Horticulture.
Thoms’ main area of research is improving safety and performance of athletic fields. He also studies how golf courses can be more efficient by lowering inputs like water or herbicide.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the turf managers in the state of Iowa,” Thoms said. “It’s great to be back at my alma mater and present research that helps move forward the cutting edge work that is being done at Iowa State.”
Thoms joins the ISU Extension and Outreach staff after earning his Ph.D. in Plant Sciences from the University of Tennessee. He also holds a M.S. in plant science from Tennessee while earning a B.S from Iowa State in horticulture.
“We are very glad to have him back in the fold,” said Jeff Iles, professor and chair, department of horticulture and extension specialist at Iowa State. “Adam’s focus is on sports turf and we think that’s a major growth area for our department. He is already well connected and has made a strong first impression with industry leaders in the state. He’s very good with people and is easy to speak with. He knows his subject area and I know he will be a fine addition to the horticulture team.”
Thoms had been the research leader for the Center for Athletic Field Safety at the University of Tennessee since 2010, assisting with athletic field research projects that include evaluating the performance and safety of natural and synthetic athletic fields, evaluating heat sources and potential cooling methods for synthetic turf, investigating the performance and safety of various natural turf root zones, developing new athletic field painting techniques and determining their effects on athletic field root zones.
He also served as a graduate teaching assistant and lab instructor at Tennessee while lecturing in select turfgrass courses. Thoms was a coach for the Tennessee Turfgrass Club turf bowl team, with his team winning the STMA student challenge in 2007.
Thoms is a member of several professional organizations including: the American Society of Agronomy, Sports Turf Managers Association, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, International Turfgrass Society, Synthetic Turf Council and the International Sports Engineering Association.