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Norma L. Trolinder N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative Graduate Student Endowment Award 

Norma L. Trolinder and Her Legacy

Dr. Norma Trolinder is a pioneering cotton research geneticist in West Texas. Dr. Trolinder holds numerous patents and is known for her diligent efforts in the difficult area of plant regeneration from cotton tissue culture to overcome a major hurdle in cotton biotechnology. Her work has been essential to the successful utilization of transgenic cotton in the industry that we are experiencing today.

In February of 1999, Dr. Trolinder established Genes Plus, a research company specializing in genetic engineering work in Quanah, TX. She was president and research director of Southplains Biotechnology, Inc., in Lubbock for six years prior and was a research scientist for eight years before that at the USDA Cropping Systems Research Lab in Lubbock. She has authored numerous publications and was named the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Early Career Scientist of the Year, Southern Region in 1991 for pioneering research in genetic cotton engineering. She chaired the 1996 World Congress for the Society of In Vitro Biology and has served as technical advisor for the Texas Cotton Biotechnology Program since 1994 and on the Texas Tech International Textile Research Institute’s Board of Advisors since 1996. Trolinder holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Tech University, where she has served as an adjunct professor in the Plant & Soil Sciences Department since 1987.

Dr. Trolinder’s daughter is Linda Trolinder who resides in Raleigh, NC and works for BASF as Senior Vice President, Head of Research and Development, Field Crops Seeds and Traits. Together, mother and daughter founded and operated SouthPlains Biotechnology Inc in Lubbock, Texas until 1999.   

Plant Sciences Building at night

Endowment Applications Open May 2024

The Norma L. Trolinder N.C. PSI Graduate Student Endowment Award 


Linda has selected the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative as the designation for a gift to honor her mother’s legacy to the plant sciences discipline in order to create the first named graduate student support endowment.

Award Details

  • Amount: $4000 
  • Number awarded each year: the number awarded each year is determined by N.C. PSI Executive Director and available balance to the fund.
  • Applications:
    2024 applications will open late spring 2024

Eligibility and Criteria

Distributions from the Trolinder Fund will be used to provide awards for graduate students (MS or PhD, thesis and dissertation based degrees only) working under the direction of a faculty member of a research program that is designated to fall within the scope of the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative. This award is open to US and International students. Funds will be administered through the Graduate School and used to cover graduate student fees. The remainder may be used for tuition, research funding, conference fees, professional memberships, research and conference travel and other enhancements to the graduate experience. Awards will be for one academic year. 

Fellows Activities may include:
1.  N.C. PSI Mentor Program: students may be invited to select an industry, academic, grower or other PSI stakeholder mentee to meet at least once throughout the year to gain insight into career opportunities and help them develop a  professional network. 

2. Students will also be encouraged to:

  • Participate in at least one professional development activity run by the Graduate School
  • Present their work at a research conference or symposia, such as a regional or national meeting of their professional organization (for example, ASPB) or the annual N.C. PSI Student Research Showcase
  • Be interviewed/featured on the N.C. PSI website and social media channels

Planting the Future

With support from the Trolinder graduate student endowment, Weilong He hopes to use machine learning to help breeders more efficiently assess the health of plants and troubleshoot problems for farmers.

a man stands next to two computer screens

Award-Winning Plant Science Grad Student Hopes To Share Research Internationally

Anna Garrell’s research focuses on helping scientists develop a more targeted approach to the design and development of microbial products for sustainable agriculture.

Anna Trolinder in the Kleiner Lab
Anna Garrell is an inaugural recipient of the Norma L. Trolinder N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative Graduate Student Endowment Award.