School of Agriculture and Food

Robert L. Taylor, Jr., Director of the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences

Matthew A. Jenks, Director of the Division of Plant and Soil Sciences

Degrees Offered

  • Master of Science with a major in Agronomy
  • Master of Science with a major in Animal Physiology
  • Master of Science with a major in Applied and Environmental Microbiology
  • Master of Science with a major in Entomology
  • Master of Science with a major in Genetics and Developmental Biology
  • Master of Science with a major in Horticulture
  • Master of Science with a major in Nutritional and Food Science
  • Master of Science with a major in Plant Pathology
  • Master of Science with a major in Reproductive Physiology
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Animal and Food Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Genetics and Developmental Biology
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Plant and Soil Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Reproductive Physiology

The master of science allows maximum flexibility in courses and research problems. Students may major in agronomy, animal and nutritional sciences, animal physiology, applied and environmental microbiology, entomology, genetics and developmental biology, horticulture, nutrition and food science, plant pathology, or reproductive physiology. A master of science degree is available as a thesis or coursework option. Research problems in plants and animals of agricultural importance, laboratory organisms, and human subjects form the basis for many studies, but a comparative approach is emphasized. The school offers the registered dietetic certification (RD) preparation internship program to qualified students as a component of the animal and nutritional sciences master of science program.

A student seeking admission to work toward the degree of doctor of philosophy in the School of Agriculture and Food may choose from one of the following majors: animal and food science, genetics and developmental biology, plant and soil science, or reproductive physiology. Within these major fields of study, specialization is limited only by the range of competencies in the graduate faculty.

A limited number of graduate research assistantships are available to highly qualified students on a competitive basis.



  • Matthew A. Jenks - Ph.D. (Purdue University)
    Plant genetics; specialty crops
  • Robert L. Taylor, Jr. - Ph.D. (Mississippi State University)
    Immunology and genetics of disease resistance


  • Alan R. Biggs - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Plant Pathology, Tree Fruits
  • Kenneth P. Blemings - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin)
    Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Mirjana Butalovic-Danilovich - Ph.D. (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)
    Extension Specialist, Consumer Horticulture, Master Gardener Program Coordinator
  • Rakesh Chandran - Ph.D. (Virginia Tech)
    Weed management in horticultural systems, IPM, Innovative strategies for weed control
  • Robert A. Dailey - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin)
    Reproductive Physiology
  • Jason Hubbart - Ph.D. (University of Idaho-Moscow)
    Fresh water supply regimes, Biogeochemical cycling, and ecohydrology
  • Jacek Jaczynski - Ph.D. (Oregon State University)
    Food science and technology
  • P. Brett Kenney - Ph.D. (Kansas State University)
    Meat Science
  • Hillar Klandorf - Ph.D. (British Council for National Academic Awards)
  • William L. MacDonald - Ph.D. (Iowa State University)
    Plant Pathology, Forest and Shade Tree Diseases
  • Kristen E. Matak - Ph.D. (Virginia Tech)
    Food science and human nutrition
  • Louis M. McDonald - Ph.D. (University of Kentucky)
    Soil Science, Soil Chemistry
  • Joseph S. Moritz - Ph.D. (Kansas State University)
    Nutrition and feed manufacture
  • Joseph B. Morton - Ph.D. (Montana State University)
    Plant Pathology, Mycorrhizal Interactions, Field Crop Diseases
  • Daniel Panaccione - Ph.D. (Purdue State University)
    Plant Pathology, Mycology, Mycotoxins, Molecular Biology
  • Jeffrey Skousen - Ph.D. (Texas A&M University)
    Soil Science, Land Reclamation, Soil and Water Conservation, Watershed Restoration
  • James A. Thompson - Ph.D. (University of Minnesota)
    Soil science, Pedology, and Land use
  • Janet C. L. Tou - Ph.D. (University of Toronto, Canada)
    Nutrition in bone health and chronic diseases
  • Matthew E. Wilson - Ph.D. (Iowa State University)
    Reproductive Physiology
  • Jianbo Yao - Ph.D. (McGill University)
    Functional genomics

Associate Professor

  • Kimberly M. Barnes - Ph.D. (University of Nebraska)
    Lipid metabolism
  • Vagner Benedito - Ph.D. (Wageningen University, The Netherlands)
    Genetics and developmental biology, Plant genomics, Functional genetics and plant physiology
  • Scott A. Bowdridge - Ph.D. (Virginia Tech)
    Food animal production, parasite immunology
  • Eugene E. Felton - Ph.D. (University of Missouri)
    Animal science and ruminant nutrition
  • Thomas C. Griggs - Ph.D. (Texas Tech University)
    Agronomy, Field and forage crops
  • Marlon Knights - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Reproductive Physiology and Animal Production
  • James B. Kotcon - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin)
    Plant Pathology, Agroecology, Nematology, Organic Farming Practices
  • K. Marie Krause - Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Ruminant nutrition
  • Melissa D. Olfert - Dr.P.H., M.S., R.D. (Loma Linda University)
    Human Nutrition and Foods
  • Yong-Lak Park - Ph.D. (Iowa State University)
    Entomology, Geospatial Ecology of Insects, Integrated Pest Management, Spatial Interaction between Insect and Plant Diseases
  • Eugenia M. Pena-Yewtukhiw - Ph.D. (University of Kentucky)
    Soil Science
  • Sven Verlinden - Ph.D. (Purdue University)
    Horticulture, Post Harvest Physiology, Molecular Biology

Assistant Professor

  • Daniel L. Frank - Ph.D. (Virginia Tech)
    Extension specialist, horticulture
  • Michael Gutensohn - Ph.D. (University of Cologne, Germany)
    Plant biochemistry and genetics, Metabolic engineering, Plant-insect interactions
  • Matthew Kasson - Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University)
    Forest pathology, fungal-insect interactions, Fungal phylogenetics
  • Teiya Kijimoto - Ph.D. (Tokyo Institute of Technology)
    Evolutionary developmental biology of morphological diversification, Evolution of novel traits
  • Nik Kovinich - Ph.D. (Carleton University)
    Metabolic engineering, Metabolite transport, Plant metabolic response to stress
  • Kang Mo Ku - Ph.D. (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
    Food crops physiology and quality, Plant metabolomics
  • Melissa D. Ventura-Marra - Ph.D., R.D. (Florida International University)
    Diet related health disparities
  • Daniel J. Mathew - Ph.D. (University of Missouri)
    Reproductive Physiology
  • Ember Morrissey - Ph.D. (Virginia Commonwealth University)
    Environmental microbiology
  • Cangliang Shen - Ph.D. (Colorado State University)
    Safety of meat and fresh produce
  • Nicole Waterland - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
    Horticulture, Flower Senescence
  • Amy Welsh - Ph.D. (University of California-Davis)
    Conservation genetics of fish and wildlife populations, Wildlife forensics

Research Assistant Professor

  • David Belesky - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Agronomy, Animal nutrition
  • Domingo Jose Mata Padrino - Ph.D. (Universidad Central de Venezuela)

Teaching Associate Professor

  • Megan Govindan - MPH, MS, RD, LD (West Virginia University)
    Human nutrition and foods
  • Margaret A. Minch - D.V.M. (Ohio State University)
    Veterinary Medicine
  • Crystal Smith - Ed.D. (West Virginia University)
    Equine management

Teaching Assistant Professor

  • Adam M. Burda - MS, RDN, LDN (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
    Director of the Graduate Dietetic Internship Program
  • David Davis - Ph.D. (Virginia Tech)
    Landscape, turf, specialty crops

Visiting Assistant Professor

  • John Hando - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Environmental health and safety specialist, Genetics and developmental biology

Faculty Emeriti

  • James W. Amrine, Jr.
  • Robert E. Anderson
  • John A. Balasko
  • John F. Baniecki
  • Bradford C. Bearce
  • Gary K. Bissonnette
  • James L. Brooks
  • William B. Bryan
  • Linda Butler
  • Robert L. Cochrane
  • William E. Collins
  • Leslie Dozsa
  • Betty J. Forbes
  • Mannon E. Gallegly, Jr.
  • Henry W. Hogmire
  • William H. Hoover
  • E. Keith Inskeep
  • Robert F. Keefer
  • Paul E. Lewis
  • M. Zafar Alam Nomani
  • Phillip Osborne
  • Ronald A. Peterson
  • Edward C. Prigge
  • John C. Sencindiver
  • Alan Sexstone
  • Rabindar N. Singh
  • Paul M. Smith
  • Charles B. Sperow, Jr.
  • Willem Van Eck
  • Wayne R. Wagner
  • John Warren
  • Richard K. Zimmerman

Adjunct Faculty

  • Jesse Fallon - Veterinary medicine
  • Janet Fulton - Animal Genetics
  • Michael Glenn - Soil Science
  • Ann Hubbs - Veterinary medicine
  • Cynthia Huebner - Invasive Plants and Ecology
  • Lee Kass - Plant and Soil Sciences, History of Genetics
  • Barbara Jean Meade - Veterinary sciences
  • Stephen S. Miller - Horticulture
  • Donald Nuss - Plant Pathology
  • Tong-Man Ong - Genetics
  • Dale W. Porter - Toxicology
  • Caird E. Rexroad III - Genetics
  • George R. Seiler - Veterinary sciences
  • Alfred H. Stiller - Chemistry
  • Richard Z. Woodworth - Agriculture
  • Paul F. Ziemkiewicz - Land Reclamation
  • Thomas van der Zwet - Plant Pathology