Tenure Track, Non-Tenure Track, and Emeritus
Tenure Track Faculty
- Giroux, Mike -- Interim Department Head and Professor, Ph.D. 1992, University of Florida. University of Florida. I focus on the molecular genetics and cereal chemistry of grain quality and agronomic yield. Studies involve using basic genetic and transgenic approaches to dissect gene function. A primary goal is identifying the genetic and biochemical basis of end use quality aspects such as grain hardness and starch quality. We are also assessing the ability to improve wheat yield by increasing activity of endosperm specific starch biosynthetic enzymes. A second major goal is the development of selective molecular tests useful in screening wheat and barley germplasm for desired end-use quality.
- Britton, Jennifer - Associate Professor and Program Director for Landscape Design, M.L.A. 2006, University of Georgia. My research explores interpreting cultural landscapes through the use of semiotics and art. Recent creative activity explores human emotion, values and nostalgia towards landscapes for the purposes of tourism promotion and preservation.Bruckner, Phil -- Professor, Ph.D. 1985, North Dakota State Univ. Development of high-yielding winter wheat varieties that have good agronomic characteristics and resistance to disease and insect pests, are compatible with cultural practices, withstand environmental stresses and meet marketing requirements of Montana producers; plant breeding and genetics research related to variety development.
- Budak, Hikmet -- Professor and Winifred-Asbjornson Plant Science Endowed Chair, Ph.D. 2002, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Our research theme is genetics and genomics of plants. We focus on analyzing abiotic (drought and heat) and biotic stress (insects and pathogens) response mechanisms of important genes employing genomics and bioinformatics tools. We also want to understand how gene transmission, silencing, and noncoding RNAs work under stress conditions.
- Burgess, Mac -- Assistant Professor, Ph.D. 2012, Montana State University. Research in my lab strives to provide resources and educational opportunities for improved management of high-value crops and small-scale production systems, including demonstration and evaluation of season extension tools, precision irrigation management, cover crops, crop rotations, and soil fertility management.
- Burrows, Mary -- Professor, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research addresses problems faced by the growers of Montana. Current projects include integrated management of seedling damping off in chickpea and the role of planting density and seed treatments in disease development in spring wheat.
- Cripps, Cathy -- Professor, Ph.D. 1995, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Study of the basic and applied aspects of higher fungi, particularly in extreme environments such as the alpine life zone and high-elevation smelter-impacted site.
- Dougher, Tracy -- Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Programs, College of Agriculture, Ph.D. 1999, Utah State Univ. The long-term goal of my research is to find equivalent control methods to reduce the environmental impact of greenhouse and nursery production. My approach includes understanding effects of light quality on plant growth and propagation, utilizing resource recovery, and increasing use of native plants in the landscape.
- Dunkel, Florence -- Associate Professor, Ph.D 1969, Univ. of Wis. - MadisonMy research focuses on the use of plant-based natural products for insect management, particularly related to postharvest ecosystems. Current projects include exploration of Montana wheat varietal resistance to postharvest insects; use of plant-based products with entomopathogenic fungi for management of insects; and use of natural products in the holistic management of malaria in West African (Malian) villages.
- Dyer, Alan -- Assoc. Professor, Ph.D. 2003, University of Minnesota. The adoption of minimal tillage practices in Montana has enhanced the survival of residue and soil-borne pathogens of small grains. As pathogen populations increase, their negative impacts on small grains increase. By studying the survival of residue and soil-borne plant pathogens, we hope to define cultural practices that will mitigate the negative impacts of these pathogens.
- Dyer, Bill -- Professor, Ph.D. 1988, Purdue Univ. Physiology and molecular biology of seed dormancy maintenance and release in Avena fatua; Biochemistry and molecular biology of evolved resistance to herbicides; Population genetics and spatial components of invasiveness in Kochia scoparia.
- Fischer, Andreas -- Professor, Ph.D. 1993, Univ. of Bern. My work is focused on understanding the functional basis of cereal ‘senescence’.
- Flenniken, Michelle -- Assistant Professor, Ph.D. 2006. Montana State University. Research in the Flenniken Lab is aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions in agriculturally important systems; including honey bees (Apis mellifera). Projects in the lab focus on three principal aspects of honey bee biology: (1) determining the mechanisms and contributions of RNA-triggered pathways in honey bee antiviral defense, (2) honey bee pathogen monitoring, detection and discovery with an emphasis on candidate etiologic agents of Colony Collapse Disorder, and (3) investigating the pathogenesis of the recently discovered Lake Sinai viruses. Honey bees are an excellent model in which to investigate immune mechanisms at both the individual bee and entire colony level.
- Hoch, Bill -- Associate Professor, Ph.D. 2003, University of Wisconsin at Madison. Research interests involve the propagation and development of woody nursery crops, including Acer, Alnus, Betula, Spiraea and Viburnum. Recent work has focused on the production and evaluation of sterile clones of invasive woody species.
- Huang, Li -- Associate Professor, Ph.D. 2002 Kansas State University. Plant host-pathogen interaction emphasizing on the genetic mechanisms of resistance gene mediated defense responses in host and the pathogenicity in the pathogens. Research programs include “Functional analysis of the Lr21-mediated resistance pathway” and “Molecular characterization of avirulence/virulence genes of the wheat leaf rust fungal pathogen”.
- Ivie Michael -- Associate Professor, Ph.D. 1985, The Ohio State University. My research is divided between work on the systematics of the Coleoptera and insect conservation biology. I am particularly interested in the higher classification of the beetles, based on phylogenetic principles. My major expertise is in the taxonomy of the Bostrichidae, Colydiidae (and related families), and faunistics of West Indian Beetles. Conservation biology work has focused on inventory and monitoring of National Parks using beetle communities as a model system.
- Lachowiec, Jennifer -- Assistant Professor, Ph.D. 2014, University of Washington. Research in the Lachowiec lab revolves around a key challenge in genetics: the goal of predicting traits from genetic sequences. Achieving this goal requires greater understanding of how organisms tolerate genetic and environmental perturbations. The lab works at the interfaces of quantitative genetics/genomics, molecular biology, development, and evolutionary biology using the model plant, A. thaliana. Eventually, we hope to use these findings to help plant breeders.
- Lavin, Matt -- Professor, Ph.D. 1986, The Univ. of Texas-Austin. Molecular systematics and biogeography of the plant family Leguminosae. The emphasis of my research is on the phylogeny, biogeography, and systematics of the plant family Leguminosae, including the cultivated species.
- Lu,Chaofu -- Associate Professor, Ph.D. 1998, Institute of Genetics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. My research goal is to make contributions to our understanding of genetic and biochemical factors that control fatty acid and lipid biosynthesis in oilseed plants.
- McPhee, Kevin -- Professor, Ph.D. 1995, University of Idaho. My research focuses on development of high-yielding pulse crop (pea, lentil, and chickpea) varieties using conventional breeding approaches. New varieties are targeted with good agronomic characteristics, resistance to disease, and to be adapted to environmental stresses present in Montana and regionally. Traits required in domestic and international markets are also evaluated and selected.
- Rupp, Jessica -- Assistant Professor, Ph.D. 2015, Kansas State University. My applied research program is focused on plant disease problems facing Montana seed potato and sugarbeet growers. The main areas of focus are: field research, storage research and genetics. Other projects include precision genome editing and RNAi silencing strategies to induce resistance to important plant pathogens.
- Sands, Dave -- Professor, Ph.D. 1969, Univ. of California-Berkeley. Plant bacteriology, biological control of weeds, and biotechnology.
- Sharrock, Bob -- Professor, Ph.D. 1981, Univ. of California-Berkeley. Research focuses on two areas of plant molecular genetics: the mechanisms through which plants sense and respond to environmental light cues and the regulation of the development of the floral stem or inflorescence.
- Sherman, Jamie -- Assistant Professor, Ph.D. 1994, Colorado State Univ. Genetics and Cytogenetics of wheat
- Talbert, Luther -- Professor, Ph.D. 1985, Univ. of Wisconsin. Plant breeding and molecular genetics emphasizing incorporation of both traditional and molecular approaches in the improvement of wheat.
- Thum, Ryan -- Assistant Professor, Ph.D. 2004, Dartmouth College. My general fields of interest encompass evolutionary and molecular ecology, with a specific emphasis on invasive aquatic species. My research is rooted in conceptual evolutionary ecology, but aims to contribute conceptual knowledge and understanding to guide practical decision making and solutions regarding invasive species – one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems.
- VanWieren, Rebekah -- Assistant Professor, MLA, 2009, University of Michigan. My research focuses on ecological landscape design in the context of brownfield redevelopment, community planning and design, and stormwater management.
- Wanner, Kevin -- Associate Professor, Ph.D. 2004, University of British Columbia. Basic research interests focus on genomic approaches towards understanding insect chemical senses, including functional studies of odorant receptors. Applied field research focuses on developing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tools for insect pests damaging agricultural crops.
- Young, Mark -- Professor, Ph.D.1987, Univ. of California-Davis. Utilizes viruses to understand viral diseases and as model systems to explore cell biology. By combining biochemical and genetic approaches, with the tools of molecular and structural biology, I examine the interplay of viral and host gene products. Three principle areas of research are under investigation: (1) the study of spherical virus assembly and disassembly processes; (2) the use of viral protein cages as constrained reaction vessels for nano-materials synthesis; (3) and the isolation and genetic characterization of viruses from extreme thermal environments found in Yellowstone National Park.
Non-Tenure Track Faculty
- Agindotan, Bright - Assistant Research Professor, Ph.D. 2001, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; MBA 2014, University of Illinois. I manage the Regional Pulse Crop Diagnostic Laboratory. My research interests include diagnostics and discovery of pathogens, and management of diseases of pulse crops.
- Day, Toby -- Extension Horticulturalist
- Grimme, Eva -- Plant Disease Diagnostician and Manager of the Schutter Diagnostic Laboratory, Ph.D. 2008. Montana State University.
- Holen, Doug -- Manager of Montana Foundation Seed Program. Montana State University. Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology Department. Administrator, MSU/NRCS (Bridger Plant Materials Center) Cooperative Research Program for grasses, forbs, leguemes, shrubs, and trees. Manager, Mint Certification Program.
- Kerzicnik, Laurie --Insect Diagnostician and Assistant IPM Specialist, Ph.D. 2011, Colorado State University.
- Klein, Robin -- Adjunct Instructor, MS 2004, Montana State University. My focus is on medicinal plant research, plant identification, ethnobotany, herbal medicine, and biomimicry (design, architecture, materials).
- Moore-Gough, Cheryl -- Adjunct Assistant Professor, MS 2003, Montana State University. Cheryl is the technical editor for horticulture for Zone 4 Magazine, co-authored five books with her late husband, Dr. Bob Gough, and produces, writes, and voices Northern Gardening Tips for the Northern News Network.
- Pilgeram, Alice -- Assistant Research Professor, Ph.D. 1991, Montana State University
- Zidack, Nina --Assistant Res. Professor, Ph.D. 1993, Auburn University. Director of Montana Seed Potato Certification. Responsibilities include the supervision of all aspects of the certification process for seed potatoes, and serving as a liaison between MSU and the Montana Potato Improvement Association.
- Jacobsen, Barry, -- Professor Emeritus, PhD, University of Minnesota, 1973. Currently, I am Associate Director of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station and Head of the Department of Research Centers. My former research and extension program involved development of integrated disease management strategies and IPM programs for crops grown in Montana with emphasis on potatoes and sugar beets. The ecology and epidemiology of plant pathogens and biocontrol organisms is of particular interest as is grain storage pathology.
- Martin, Jack -- Emeritus Professor, Ph.D. 1978, Iowa State Univ. Application of quantitative genetic principles and methods in cultivar and germplasm development, including inheritance modes and type of gene action in economically important quantitative traits.
- Mathre, Don -- Professor Emeritus, Ph.D. from University of California-Davis. Soil-borne diseases with major emphasis on diseases of small grain cereals. Approaches being used involve the biocontrol of fungal pathogens using host resistance and antagonistic microbes.
- Riesselman, Jack -- Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Testing new technology prior to utilization by Montana producers. Food and pesticide safety, plus testing and determining market suitability of newly developed biotechnology products are additional interests.
- Sherwood, John -- Professor Emeritus, Ph.D. 1984, Michigan State Univ. Develop an understanding of the molecular genetic basis of plant-fungal pathogen interactions in order to develop novel strategies for controlling fungal pathogens. and the molecular transfer of anti-fungal proteins found in the wheat endosperm to other plants, in order to limit plant diseases.
- Strobel, Gary -- Professor Emeritus, Ph.D. 1963, Univ. of California-Davis. Isolation and characterization of many novel bioactive compounds from plant pathogenic fungi and bacteria.
- Weeden, Norman -- Professor Emeritus, Ph.D. 1981, Univ. of California-Davis. My interests involve the genetic studies in pulse crops, primarily pea and lentil but also including comparisons with chickpea, common bean, cowpea and lupine. I am particularly interested in developing DNA markers and applying marker assisted selection techniques to pea varietal improvement. Genome evolution and linkage conservation within the Papilionoid subfamily are also subjects under study in my program.