Bull named head of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Carolee Bull will become head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, effective Sept. 1.

Bull currently is a research plant pathologist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service at its Crop Improvement and Protection Research Station in Salinas, California. Her research program focuses on detection and management of bacterial pathogens, integrated soil and pest management in organic production systems, and evaluation of disease-resistance traits in vegetable and fruit crops.

"It is a great honor to be asked to join and serve my esteemed colleagues in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State," said Bull, who grew up in Beaver County and is a graduate of Sewickley Academy.

"Because of the warmth and kindness of the staff, students and faculty, I already feel as though I am coming home to Penn State as well as Pennsylvania," she added. "I look forward to meaningful and joyful work together."

Bull received a bachelor's degree in botany from Ohio University, a master's degree in plant pathology from Washington State University and a doctorate in plant pathology at Oregon State University, with an integrated minor emphasizing microbial ecology.

After postdoctoral work at Swiss Federal Institute and Université de Lausanne in Switzerland, Bull joined the USDA Agricultural Research Service, first in Fresno, California, then moving to Salinas. She has held adjunct appointments at California State University, Fresno, and California State University, Monterey Bay. She also has mentored numerous students in her laboratory from Hartnell College, a two-year institution in Salinas.

"I look forward to working closely with Carolee Bull in her new role," said Richard Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, "Carolee has a dynamic and consultative leadership style, and I have great confidence that the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology will continue to prosper under her leadership."

Bull will replace David Geiser, professor of plant pathology, who has served as interim department head following the recent retirement of Frederick Gildow.

Bull has served as convenor of the International Society for Plant Pathology's Committee on the Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria, and as secretary of the Judicial Commission of the International Committee on the Systematics of Prokaryotes.

She has received many honors and awards, including the ARS Administrator's Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Award, the Mentor of the Year Award from Cal State Monterey Bay, and the USDA Secretary's Honor Award for Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the highest service award for agriculture in the nation.

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Last Updated April 30, 2015