Montana State University

Faculty and Staff

Professional and Classified Staff
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  • Sherwood, John -- Department Head -- Professor, 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.

  • Blake, Tom -- Professor, Ph.D. 1982, Washington State Univ. Barley Breeding and Genetics. Cereal Genomics. MSU core DNA analysis center. Develop improved barley varieties using a combination of large field experiments and molecular genetic analyses.
  • Blake, Victoria -- Asst. Research Professor, Ph.D. 1989, University of California, Davis. Gene discovery, agronomics and improvement of adapted barley varieties for forage and hay. Barley straw utilization for biofuel production using genes from exotic barley varieties that retain carbohydrates in the straw at harvest.  Management of the demonstration hopyard and vineyard.
  • Britton, Jennifer - Asst. Professor, M.L.A. 2006, University of Georgia. I am currently involved in qualitative research exploring cultural landscapes and values represented in land. My interest mainly centers on interpreting the manifestation of human values as inscribed on “desirable” landscapes, more specifically case studies of wine landscapes and Big Sky, Montana. My impetus being that to truly build sustainably and reduce aesthetic remaking, we must first understand why we value certain landscapes. One recent focus is the use of graphic illustration as a methodology for value based site analysis.
  • 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.

  • 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 -- Associate. 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 -- Associate 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, 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.

  • Giroux, Mike -- 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.

  • Grey, Bill -- Director of Montana Foundation Seed Program, Research Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology, Ph.D. 1990, Montana State University. Epidemiology and control of cereal, legume  and floriculture diseases.  Administrator, MSU NRCS Cooperative Research Program for grasses, forbs, leguemes, shrubs, and trees. Manager, Mint Certification Program.

  • Grimme, Eva -- Plant Disease Diagnostician, Ph.D. 2008. Montana State University.

  • Hoch, Bill -- Associate Professor, Ph.D. 2003, University of Wisconsin at Madison. I am working on improvement of the oilseed crop Camelina sativa, which has a variety of potentially major applications for both the oil and meal.  This work is directed primarily in two areas: increasing the content of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential in the human diet and have a number of health benefits, and reducing the content of glucosinolates, which decrease palatability of the meal.  I am also involved in the improvement of woody nursery crops, including Viburnum, Spiraea and Betula.  One recent focus is the development of DNA markers in Viburnum for use in marker-assisted breeding and evolutionary studies.  
  • 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”.
  • Huyette, Page -- Adjunct Asst. Professor, 1986 Lake Forest College. 1997 Master's Certificate, Landscape Architecture, University of California.
  • 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.
  • Jacobsen, Barry  -- Professor, Ph.D. 1973, Univ. of Minnesota. Development of disease management strategies and IPM programs for potatoes and sugar beets, biological control with phyllosphere and rhizosphere inhabiting organisms, host plant resistance, cultural practices, and chemical control, ecology and epidemiology of plant pathogens and biocontrol organisms.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Martin, Jack -- 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

  • 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.
  • Mathre, Don -- Emeritus Professor, 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.  

  • Pilgeram, Alice -- Asst. Research Professor, Ph.D. 1991, Montana State University. 

  • Riesselman, Jack--Emeritus Professor, 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.

  • 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 -- Asst. Res. Professor, Ph.D. 1994, Colorado State Univ. Genetics and Cytogenetics of wheat

  • Skoglund, Linnea - Research Assistant Professor, Plant Disease Diagnostician, Urban IPM Coordinator,r, Ph.D. from Colorado State University

  • Strobel, Gary -- Professor, Ph.D. 1963, Univ. of California-Davis. Isolation and characterization of many novel bioactive compounds from plant pathogenic fungi and bacteria

  • 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 -- Asst Professor, Ph.D. 2004, Dartmouth College.

  • 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. My research focuses on the genomics and functional genomics of the insect chemical senses.

  • Weeden, Norman  -- Professor, 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.

  • 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.

  • Zidack, Nina --Asst. 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.

Professional and Classified Staff

Baumbauer, David
Berg, Jim
Blake, Nancy
Brumfield, Sue
Bunger, Peggy
Carpenter, Eileen
Clack, Ted
Cooke, Nancy
Couch, Susie
Crow, DeAnna
Day, Toby
Decker, Irene
Heo, Hwa-Young
Hofer, Petrea
Hogg, Andy
Huntsman, Rebecca
Ivie, Donna
Johnston, Bob
Johnston, Jeff
Kang, Jinling
Kennedy, Jackie
Lanning, Susan
Larson, Ron
Maroney, Karen
Nash, Deanna
Nichols, Elaine
O'Neill, Ruth
Palmer, Dara
Pilgeram, Alice
Prosek, Kim
Ramsfield, Ron
Rimel, Heather
Schlosser, Alanna
Siemsen, Susie
Szelmeczka, Pam
TeSlaa, Harvey
Westfall, Bridget
Zhang, Hongtao