CORVALLIS - Oregon State University has honored a plant physiologist and a neurobiologist who specializes in brain function with Distinguished Professor Awards, the highest recognition the university bestows upon faculty.

Larry Boersma, a professor of crop and soil science, and Frank L. Moore, a professor of zoology, will carry the title of Distinguished Professor as long as they remain at OSU.

The awards honor excellence in teaching, significant achievement in research or scholarly activities, and service to the university and the community, according to Roy Arnold, OSU provost and executive vice president.

Boersma is an internationally recognized expert on the interface of plant physiology and soil physics. His work has led to better understanding of how water moves through plants and the impacts of water and temperature on their physiology.

He also has made major contributions to the basic understanding of how chemicals move through soil systems. He is well known throughout the world and has collaborated with agricultural producers and researchers from the U.S., Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and Latin America.

"Larry Boersma is equally talented in the classroom, where he demands a great deal out of his students," Arnold said. Boersma makes himself available to students seven days a week, colleagues point out, and schedules extra reviews and tutoring sessions for students whenever needed.

Boersma, who has a Ph.D. from Cornell University, has been on the OSU faculty since 1960.

Moore studies where and how specific hormones and "neurotransmitters" act in the brain. Using the rough-skinned newt, he has advanced the study of reproductive neuroendocrinology, specializing in analyzing the difference in chemical and physical brain function between males and females.

His work with stress hormone actions on brain function led to the discovery of a new type of steroid receptor in brain cell membranes, which "shattered a dogma that has been with us for more than 30 years," said colleague Bruce S. McEwen of The Rockefeller University in New York.

"Frank Moore has also taught at every level of classroom instruction, from four years as a high school teacher to the guidance of a dozen post-doctoral researchers," Arnold said.

Moore, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, has been on the OSU faculty since 1975.

The university will hold a reception on Tuesday, May 28, to honor the recipients. It will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Giustina Gallery of LaSells Stewart Center.

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Roy Arnold, 541-737-2111