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, horticulture, and wetland ecosystems. Areas of emphasis for graduate work include nutrient dynamics in agricultural and forest ecosystems, soil chemistry and plant nutrition, horticulture, soil microbiology, crop physiology, diversified cropping systems, weed ecology and management, wetland ecology, crop genetic resource conservation and management, and plant pathology. Thesis problems may be developed in a wide range of subject areas within the broad disciplines listed above. 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; Horticulture; and Ecology and Environmental Sciences. The Doctor of Philosophy degree can be pursued through programs in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Forest Resources, Plant Biology, and Plant 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. To apply, go to the Graduate School’s website, www.umaine.edu/graduate and click on the “Admissions” tab and follow the guidelines. You will have an option of an online or paper application.
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 interests of the student and his/her advisor.
A limited number of 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 the Graduate Coordinator (email@example.com), Ms. Mary Fernandez the Student Academic Services Coordinator (Mary_Fernandez@umit.maine.edu), or from the department website, www.umaine.edu/pse.
Stephanie Burnett, Ph.D. (University of Georgia, 2004), Associate Professor of Horticulture.
M. Susan Erich, Ph.D. (Cornell University, 1984), Professor of Plant and Soil Chemistry. Soil and environmental chemistry, plant-soil interactions, and soil testing.
Ivan J. Fernandez, Ph.D. (University of 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. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994), Chair and 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 Hutton, Ph.D. (University of New Hampshire, 1988), Associate 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 University, 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.
Renae E. Moran, Ph.D. (University of Arkansas, May 1996) Associate Professor. Variety evaluation and post harvest fruit quality.
Tsutomu Ohno, Ph.D. (Cornell University, 1983), Professor of Plant and Soil Chemistry. Environmental soil chemistry, soil organic matter, and kinetics of soil reactions.
Gregory A. Porter, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University, 1985), Professor of Agronomy. Crop physiology, dry matter partitioning in crop plants, plant pest interactions, and crop management.
Marianne Sarrantonio, Ph.D. (Cornell University, 1987), Associate Professor of Sustainable Agriculture. Cropping systems, cover crops, nitrogen transformations, organic soil amendments.
David E. Yarborough, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts, 1991), Professor of Horticulture. Blueberry and cranberry weed management, weed/crop ecology.
Associate Graduate Faculty
John M. Jemison, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University, 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. (University of Maine, 1988), Faculty Associate in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences.