Iowa State names Munkvold new endowed chair in seed science

AMES, Iowa -- An internationally recognized seed pathologist has been named Seed Science Endowed Chair at Iowa State University. Gary Munkvold has been appointed to the newly created chair for a three-year term.

Munkvold will lead a research, outreach and teaching program in seed health in the department of plant pathology and the Seed Science Center.

"Dr. Munkvold has an outstanding record in seed pathology in both the public and private sectors," said Manjit Misra, director of the Seed Science Center. "His groundbreaking research answered many longstanding questions critical to seedborne disease in field crops. He is ideally suited to lead the center's seed health program."

Munkvold was a plant pathology faculty member at Iowa State from 1993 through 2002, with research and extension responsibilities for diseases of agronomic crops. His research focused on the transmission of important seedborne pathogens and the reduction of mycotoxins (toxin produced by a fungus) in foods and feeds. He also contributed significantly to understanding the benefits of plant biotechnology in reducing the risk of diseases and mycotoxins in corn.

Since 2003, Munkvold has been research coordinator for the Pathology, Entomology and Seed Science Group at Pioneer Hi Bred International Inc., Johnston. He had global responsibilities for coordinating and improving disease and insect resistance evaluation of Pioneer corn hybrids.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Munkvold back to the ISU community" said Thomas Baum, plant pathology department chair. "He brings tremendous experience to our department."

Munkvold is the author of more than 40 scientific papers, 200 extension articles and publications, and several book chapters. He received the Novartis Award for applied plant pathology research in 2000 from the American Phytopathological Society, and the ISU Extension New Professional Award in 1997. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in plant pathology in 1992 from the University of California, Davis.

Munkvold will be recognized as the new Seed Science Endowed Chair during an ISU Foundation luncheon, Friday, Oct. 6.

Endowed faculty positions allow Iowa State to recruit and retain world-class leaders by providing the highest level of faculty recognition. Endowed positions help support course development, graduate assistants, laboratory equipment, salary enhancements, professional development and research projects. These opportunities ultimately enhance course and curriculum development, which improves the educational experience for students.