David W. "Scotty" Robertson

Degrees Awardedphoto of Scotty Robertson

  • B.S. University of Manitoba, Canada – 1918
  • M.S. University of Minnesota – 1920
  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota – 1928
  • Years at CSU -1920-1969

Awards and Recognition

  • Fellow, American Association Advancement Science, 1920
  • First Ph.D. Agronomy Faculty Member, CSU, 1928
  • Fellow, American Society Agronomy, 1941
  • Head, Department Agronomy, CSU 1946 to 1959
  • President, American Society Agronomy, 1952 to 1953
  • Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Minnesota, 1957
  • Faculty Award of Merit, Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society for Agriculture, 1969

David “Scotty” Robertson served the people of Colorado, the nation, and the world in many ways. He was Head of the Department for 13 years. He was the first scientist in the Department to hold a Ph.D., the first person in Colorado to be elected a Fellow in the American Society of Agronomy, and the first Coloradoan to serve as President of that august Society. He conducted early research on a broad range of topics including alfalfa, sudangrass, sorghums, soybeans, pasture and forage crops, wheat, barley, rye, corn, sugar beets, field beans, among others. Collaboratively with colleagues he studied the milling, baking, and chemical properties of wheat grown in Colorado, the diseases of alfalfa, the nitrogen requirements of sugar beets, and the basic principles for maintaining soil fertility on irrigated lands. Also, long-term studies on the longevity of crop seeds were conducted.

The main thrust of Dr. Robertson’s research efforts was barley genetics. He established the seven linkage groups for the seven haploid chromosomes in barley, and for the following forty years published over 100 papers. He also produced five new barley varieties for the farmers of Colorado. He was selected and elected to maintain the world’s barley genetic stocks, and to serve as overall coordinator for genetic linkage studies in barley. Dr. Robertson was selected and pressed into service as the Editor of a newly-found publication, The Barley Genetics Newsletter. This compilation of barley research and news was published yearly and circulated to more than 100 libraries in 29 countries. This activity gave much recognition to Colorado State University and the Department of Agronomy.

Scotty Robertson, a native of Scotland, was a most colorful individual. Many stories were repeated concerning his activities. As Department Head, and even after that time period, he continued his extensive research program. With somewhat limited financial resources, he suggested, yes urged, fellow faculty and graduate students to join him in the field for planting and harvesting activities. It is reported that he had a good response to his invitations. Many non-barley laboratory scientists reportedly gained valuable field experience!

Contact CSU Equal Opportunity Privacy Statement Disclaimer

2018 Colorado State Universtiy, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 USA