Faculty of Science and Technology
Sports Agronomy Research Unit (SARU)
The Sports Agronomy Research Unit (SARU) conducts basic and contract research and provides consultancy services on turf agronomy and sports surface science for sporting and recreational activities.


It complements the U.W.I. Centre for Cricket Excellence and is part of the University’s thrust to help develop sports in the region.

SARU is rooted in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences, and several academic disciplines are relevant: Ecology, Biology, Horticulture, Microbiology, Soil Science, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science.

SARU has close linkages with the National Sports Council in Barbados.

UWI cricket field
UWI Cricket

Sports tourism has been identified as one of the ways to attract more visitors to Barbados. A scientific approach is needed to support this initiative in order to:
  • meet the sophisticated expectations of athletes and sports tourists
  • promote resource use efficiency and environmental protection to ensure sustainability

Kensington Oval - SARUSports facilities of the highest standards can encourage the development of local world-class athletes and are important for sustaining a vibrant sports tourism industry.


During the preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean, SARU was part of the Sports Agronomy Team (SAT) and provided field and pitch testing and advice to all the tournament, warm-up and practice venues.


SARU’s initial research Focus:

Recent workshop presentations and publications:

  • Lopez, F. B. and Maurya, R. Cricket Pitch Preparation and Maintenance. All-day workshop conducted for grounds staff of the National Sports Council, 25th July 2012, Kensington Oval, Barbados.
  • Lopez, F. B.Sports Turfgrass Maintenance. All-day workshop conducted for grounds staff of the National Sports Council, 11th July 2012, Barbados National Stadium.
  • Fergus, D. N., Lopez, F. B. and Chinnery, L. E. 2012. Turf surface quality characteristics as affected by weeds on a cricket field. Paper presented at the 3rd International Turfgrass Conference of the European Turfgrass Society, Norway, 24-26 June 2012. Reviewed Extended Abstract published:BioforskFokus 7 (8) 111-112.
  • Lopez, F. B. and Chinnery, L. 2011. Work of the Sports Agronomy Team (SAT) for Cricket World Cup 2007. In Sports Event Management – The Caribbean Experience (L. Jordan, B. Tyson, C. Hayle, and D. Truly, editors).Ashgate Publishing Group, UK.
  • Bobb, T., Chandler, J., Chinnery L. and Lopez, F. B. 2011. Efficacy of Ethylene for Enhancing Shade Tolerance in Sports Turfgrass. Paper presented at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Caribbean Food Crops Society, Barbados, 3-9 July 2011.
Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Phone: (246) 417-4324/4323/4322 Fax:(246) 417-4325 Email: bcs@cavehill.uwi.edu