Bridges replaces Phil Utley, the current assistant dean, who will retire in August. The Tifton campus consists of the Coastal Plain Experiment Station and the UGA Rural Development Center.
"Dr. Bridges was selected following a national search for the perfect candidate to fill this very important position in our college," Buchanan said. "We had a number of worthy candidates. It was a tough decision, but Dr. Bridges emerged clearly as the one most capable of providing effective leadership for the Tifton campus."
The Tifton campus assistant dean provides leadership for UGA CAES teaching, research and extension programs in south Georgia.
"Dr. Bridges possesses all the traits that are important to assuring his success as assistant dean for our college in south Georgia," Buchanan said. "He is a distinguished researcher, but he also has teaching and extension experience. He's very forthright, has a high degree of dedication and is an extremely hardworking individual."
A native of Terrell County, Ga., Bridges earned his first degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in agronomy from Auburn University and a Ph.D. in agronomy/weed science from Texas A&M University.
He joined the UGA CAES faculty in 1987 at the Griffin, Ga., campus. In 1997, he reached the rank of professor in the college's crop and soil sciences department.
During his 14 years with UGA, Bridges has conducted agricultural research in a variety of areas related to weed management. He is now studying noncrop vegetation management, including vegetation management for enhancing wildlife habitat and pre- and postplanting herbaceous weed control for Conservation Reserve Program plantings.
Bridges validated and released two computer programs that help county agents make weed-control decisions in soybeans and peanuts. He also developed the current framework for the CAES commodity web pages. These web pages provide current, research-based information on cotton, peanuts, soybeans, canola, small grains, tobacco and turf.
Publications, Awards, Grants
To date, Bridges' research has resulted in more than 166 publications, including five books, seven book chapters, 58 refereed journal articles, 49 proceedings and 21 miscellaneous publications. He has attracted more than $1.6 million in grant funds from competitive sources and industry to UGA.
Bridges has received many professional awards, including the Southern Weed Science Society's Outstanding Young Weed Scientist award and the Weed Science Society of America's Outstanding Young Scientist award.
In 1993, a publication he co-authored was selected as Publication of the Year by the American Society for Horticultural Science. An active member of the Weed Science Society of America, he has served on and chaired many society committees.
Bridges and his wife, Kim, a native of Irwin County, Ga., have two children: Rees, 18, and Morgan, 14. The family now lives in Pike County, Ga.
(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)