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Innovative research and leadership in education and outreach are hallmarks of faculty, staff, and students of our department.


Our faculty range from basic to applied scientists who bring a connection between findings associated with the smallest molecule and state-wide epidemics of disease or invasive plants. Molecular genomics of plant/pathogen interactions, physiology of herbicide resistance, and characterization of plant molecular response to abiotic stresses are a few of the research endeavors of our faculty.


Engagement is not just about reaching people with a message, but in changing or improving their lives through adoption of that message. In order to disseminate research results and train practitioners, our extension faculty present hundreds of talks and seminars each year, post informative articles in local, state, and national magazines, and fill thousands of questions through email, phone, and personal contact. Our diagnostic labs provide expert advice to stakeholders across the Commonwealth.


Although our department does not offer an undergraduate degree program, our faculty teach undergraduate students from a variety of majors. Classes taught by PPWS faculty range from applied pest management to the most basic interactions of molecular science. Our department specializes in graduate education; offering several degree options to a diverse and highly qualified group of graduate students.