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K-State Today

October 9, 2015

Welch receives Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Award

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Stephen Welch, professor of agronomy, is among four recipients of the state's most prestigious recognition for scholarly excellence, the Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards.

This is the 34th annual presentation of the awards, established in 1981 by Takeru Higuchi, a distinguished professor at the University of Kansas from 1967 to 1983, and his wife, Aya. The awards recognize the exceptional long-term research accomplishments of faculty at Kansas Board of Regents universities. Each award includes a citation and a $10,000 award for ongoing research efforts. The money can be used for research materials, summer salaries, fellowship matching funds, hiring research assistants or other support related to research.

Welch uses mathematical models to study the relationships between genomics and the physiological traits that plants show under various climatic environments. Applications of these methods are central to developing the crop breeding and management programs needed to double the rate of yield increases that will be required to meet global food demands in 2050. His research is highly interdisciplinary and his collaborators include researchers in agriculture, veterinary medicine, engineering, and the arts and sciences. Welch came to K-State in 1977 from a postdoctoral fellowship at Michigan State University. His academic background includes a Bachelor of Science and a doctorate from Michigan State University.

Awards are given in four categories: humanities and social sciences, basic sciences, biomedical sciences and applied sciences. Each award is named for former leaders of KU Endowment who played key roles in recruiting Higuchi to KU. Their financial support of KU helped enhance university research throughout Kansas.

Welch and the others receiving the award, Michael Wehmeyer, Ross and Mariana Beach professor of special education; Paulette Spencer, Ackers Distinguished professor of mechanical engineering; David Nualart, Black-Babcock distinguished professor of mathematics, all from the University of Kansas, will be recognized Tuesday, Nov. 10, during a ceremony at the Lied Center of Kansas.