Shawn Askew

Associate Professor

The research endeavors of Dr. Askew's position are closely tied to his extension activities. Research efforts of his program include: development and evaluation of new herbicides on site and in the lab/glasshouse, evaluation of organic and cultural weed control, new diagnostic and application technology, and environmental effects of weed management in turfgrass. Dr. Askew also manages the Phytochemistry and Radioactive Materials laboratory at the Glade Road Research Facility where his team conducts research on herbicide physiology and herbicide-resistant weeds.

Current Projects

Dr. Askew has generated and spent over $2.0 million in the past decade for research endeavors aimed at improving weed management programs for Virginia turfgrass managers.  Most of his grant funding comes from corporate partners, the Virginia Turfgrass Foundation, Virginia Golf Course Superintendents Association, and the Virginia Department of Transportation.  The following are short titles of projects underway by his current graduate students:

  • Improved seedhead supression via winter applications of ethephon
  • Mode of action and mechanism of selectivity for annual bluegrass control on golf putting greens by methiozolin
  • Characterizing herbicide resistant annual bluegrass, goosegrass, perennial ryegrass, and buckhorn plantain
  • Developing goosegrass control programs in warm-season turfgrass
  • Measuring the influence of annual bluegrass and other putting green surface factors on golf ball trajectories

Dr. Askew's primary responsibility is to provide statewide leadership in the development of weed control programs for turfgrass. Emphasis is placed on development of recommendations and other weed control information pertinent to current problems in home lawns, professional turf (golf courses, football fields, etc.) and commercial sod and seed production. Dr. Askew maintains a close working relationship with Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and provides training aids and research to address turfgrass weed problems. A significant amount of his time is spent developing extension publications, troubleshooting, and conversing with agents, professional turfgrass personnel, and sod/seed farmers.

Current Projects

Virginia Tech Weed ID Clinic.  The Weed ID Clinic has been operating since 1985 and has identified over 8,500 plant samples from every county and independent city in the commonwealth.  Dr. Askew has been the coordinator of the weed clinic since 2002.  Over 1000 unique species have been sent to the clinic in the past decade.  A collaborative team of individuals from the Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science Department and the College of Agriculture are currently working on an electronic submission system to improve tracking of weed samples and speed responses of weed identification and control recommendations.


Ph.D. Crop Science, North Carolina State University, 2001

M.S. Weed Science, Mississippi State University, 1997

B.S. Agricultural Pest Management summa cum laude, Mississippi State University, 1995


  • July 2006 – present: Extension Specialist and Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, & Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • April 2001 – July 2006: Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, & Weed Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
  • May 1997 – April 2001Research Assistant, Crop Science Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Shawn Askew
  • 540-231-5807
  • 435 Old Glade Road
    Blacksburg, VA 24061