Dr. Bobbie L. McMichael, a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service's Plant Stress and Water Conservation Laboratory in Lubbock, TX, is the recipient of the 2003 Outstanding Research Award in Cotton Physiology.

He received $1,000 at the 2004 Beltwide Cotton Physiology Conference. The Agrivert Corporation sponsored the award, which is presented by the Physiology Conference to an individual or team who has significantly improved the knowledge of the physiology of cotton growth and development.

McMichael, who has been engaged in research for 29 years, initiated or cooperated in a broad field of research dealing with plant water relations and plant root systems, and has authored or co-authored 147 scientific papers and abstracts. He is nationally and internationally recognized for his contributions to the field of root physiology and in developing approaches to assess the genetic variability in root growth and development. His work is scientifically recognized in the U.S. and internationally, leading to collaboration with other scientists on plant root related research projects.

He serves on the organizing committee for the Sixth International Symposium for root research, which is a joint effort of the International Society of Root Research and the Japanese Society of Root Research. As a result of his work on plant root systems, he is a leading member of the Cotton Root Health Work Group funded by Cotton Incorporated.

Dr. Derrick Oosterhuis, a University of Arkansas scientist and nominator, said McMichael “exemplifies everything we could wish for in a crop physiologist with a strong interest and considerable experience in production agronomy.”

Oosterhuis said that McMichael, who recently conceived the idea and helped produce a highly popular “Root Disorders” handbook for cotton disorders, repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to research and academic excellence.

McMichael earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University. He has received numerous research grants.

Previous cotton physiology award recipients include: Dr. James McD. Stewart, University of Arkansas; Dr. Derrick M. Oosterhuis, University of Arkansas; Dr. Tom Cothren and Dr. Chan Benedict, Texas A&M University; Dr. Dan Krieg, Texas Tech University; Dr. Gene Guinn, USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Phoenix, AZ; and Dr. John Radin, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD.

The Cotton Physiology Conference convenes annually at the National Cotton Council-coordinated Beltwide Cotton Conferences.