The Department of Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences is a multidisciplinary department whose research and graduate training programs emphasize the biogeochemistry and sustainability of agricultural, forested and wetland ecosystems. Areas of emphasis for graduate work include nutrient dynamics in agricultural and forest ecosystems, soil chemistry and plant nutrition, soil microbiology, crop physiology, diversified cropping systems, weed ecology and management, and plant pathology. Thesis problems may be developed in a wide range of subject areas. For example, graduate work may be conducted to determine the effects of climate change and land use on nutrient fluxes in forested watersheds. The department plays a strong role in many of The University of Maine’s nationally-recognized programs, such as the Sustainable Agriculture program, the Potato Ecosystem Project, Bear Brook Watershed in Maine, the Water Research Institute, and Acadia National Park programs. Facilities are available for laboratory, greenhouse, farm field, forest stand, and watershed-scale research.
Graduate students working in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences can earn the Master of Science degree through programs in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences and; Ecology and Environmental Sciences. The Doctor of Philosophy degree can be pursued through programs in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Forest Resources, Plant Biology, and Biological Sciences. Several of our faculty have cooperating appointments in other departments, providing some of our students with additional degree options. Prospective students should contact faculty who might serve as their supervisors to discuss which degree option is appropriate for their particular interests and goals. Applications for admission should be obtained from the Graduate School (5782 Winslow Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5782, U.S.A.; Telephone 207-581-3218; Fax 207-581-3232; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; world-wide web www2.umaine.edu/graduate and, when completed, sent to The University of Maine Graduate School. Applications should indicate both the graduate program and the department the applicant seeks to enter.
Graduate training programs in the department are built from foundations in soil science, agronomy, plant physiology, ecology, microbiology, plant pathology, and statistics. Prospective graduate students should have completed course work in chemistry, mathematics, and biology, and in subject matter areas closely related to their interests and those of their advisor.
A limited number of half-time departmental assistantships, involving both teaching and research, are available on a competitive basis. Additional opportunities for assistantship support are associated with faculty working on extramural grants and research contracts. Prospective graduate students are urged to contact faculty who might serve as supervisors for their graduate degree work to determine the availability of assistantship support. Additional information concerning graduate studies in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences may be obtained from Dr. Tsutomu Ohno (Graduate Coordinator) (email@example.com), Ms. Mary Fernandez (Student Coordinator) (Mary_Fernandez@umit.maine.edu), or from the World-Wide Web (www.umaine.edu/pse).
Stephanie Burnett, Ph.D. (University of Georgia, 2004), Assistant Professor of Horticulture.
M. Susan Erich, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1984), Chair. Professor of Plant and Soil Chemistry. Soil and environmental chemistry, plant-soil interactions, and soil testing.
Ivan J. Fernandez, Ph.D. (Maine, 1981), Professor of Soil Science and Cooperating Professor of Forest Resources. Forest soils, biogeochemical cycling in forested ecosystems, environmental research.
Eric R. Gallandt, Ph.D. (Wisconsin-Madison, 1994), Associate Professor of Weed Ecology and Management. Sustainable agriculture, cropping systems, and weed ecology and management.
David Handley, Ph.D. (University of New Hampshire, 1993), Cooperating Professor of Horticulture. Vegetable and small fruit variety evaluation, and integrated pest management strategies.
Mark Huttonvegetable genetics and varietal evaluation., Ph.D. (New Hampshire, 1988), Assistant Professor of Vegetable Crops and Vegetable Extension Specialist. Vegetable production, season extension technologies, disease and insect management, vegetable genetics and varietal evaluation.
David Lambert, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State, 1979), Associate Professor of Plant Pathology. Biology and control of late blight of potato, effects of management on soil-borne potato diseases, biology and control of diseases of low-bush blueberry.
Ellen Mallory, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2007), Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture. Sustainable agriculture, soil quality, nutrient management, cover crops.
William L. Mitchell, M.L.A. (Massachusetts 1975), Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture. Landscape architecture, horticultural education, environmental planning and sports field management.
Renae E. Moran, Ph.D. (University of Arkansas, May 1996) Assistant Professor. Variety evaluation and postharvest fruit quality.
Tsutomu Ohno, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1983), Associate Professor of Plant and Soil Chemistry. Environmental soil chemistry, soil organic matter, and kinetics of soil reactions.
Gregory A. Porter, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State, 1985), Professor of Agronomy. Crop physiology, dry matter partitioning in crop plants, plant pest interactions, and crop management.
Marianne Sarrantonio, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1987), Associate Professor of Sustainable Agriculture. Cropping systems, cover crops, nitrogen transformations, organic soil amendments.
John M. Smagula, Ph.D. (Massachusetts, 1973), Professor of Horticulture. Blueberry physiology, plant development, and management systems for intensive fruit production. Tissue culture propagation.
David E. Yarborough, Ph.D. (Massachusetts, 1991), Professor of Horticulture. Blueberry and cranberry weed management, weed/crop ecology.
Donglin Zhang, Ph.D. (Georgia, 1997), Associate Professor of Horticulture. Ornamental plants, greenhouse and nursery management, floriculture, horticultural taxonomy and molecular markers.
Associate Graduate Faculty
Timothy S. Griffin, Ph.D. (Michigan State, 1990), Faculty Associate in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. Cropping systems, new crop evaluation and management, nutrient availability from livestock manures. Research agronomist, USDA-ARS.
Zhongqi He, Ph.D. (University of Georgia, 1996), Research Scientist. Plant nutrients, phosphorus chemistry, manure chemistry, environmental biochemistry.
C. Wayne Honeycutt, Ph.D. (Colorado State, 1986), Faculty Associate in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. Turnover of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in soils amended with organic materials. Soil scientist, USDA-ARS.
John M. Jemison, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State, 1991), Cooperating Associate Professor in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. Water quality Specialist, Cooperative Extension Service.
Robert Larkin, Ph.D. (Florida, 1990), Faculty Associate in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. Ecology, epidemiology, and biological control of soilborne plant pathogens. Plant pathologist, USDA-ARS.
Lindsey E. Rustad, Ph.D. (Maine, 1988), Faculty Associate in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences.