Oct 04, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences

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Within the School of Food and Agriculture multidisciplinary 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. Facilities are available for laboratory, greenhouse, farm field, forest stand, and watershed-scale research.

Graduate students working in the areas 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. Graduate training programs in these areas 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.

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.

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 these degree programs may be obtained from Dr. Bryan J. Peterson the Graduate Coordinator (bryan.j.peterson@maine.edu) and from the website (http://umaine.edu/foodandagriculture/).


Graduate Faculty

Stephanie Burnett, Ph.D. (University of Georgia, 2004), Associate Professor of Horticulture.

Lily Calderwood, Ph.D. (University of Vermont, 2015), Extension Wild Blueberry Specialist and Assistant Professor of Horticulture.

Eric R. Gallandt, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994), 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.

Jainjun (Jay) Hao, Ph.D.(University of California, Davis, 2000) Associate Professor of Plant Pathology. Epidemiology and management of potato diseases. Soil microbial communities associated with soil and plant health. Utilizing beneficial microorganisms to manage plant diseases.

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.

John M. Jemison, Ph.D. (Pennsylvania State University, 1991), Cooperating Professor in Plant, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. Water quality Specialist, Cooperative Extension Service.

Ellen Mallory, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2007), Professor of Sustainable Agriculture.  Sustainable agriculture, soil quality, nutrient management, cover crops.

Renae E. Moran, Ph.D. (University of Arkansas, May 1996) Professor. Variety evaluation and post harvest fruit quality.

Bryan J. Peterson, Ph.D. (Iowa State University, 2013).  Associate Professor of Horticulture.  Propagation, selection, and responsible use of woody ornamental plants.  Ecology, ecophysiology, and conservation of native taxa.

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.

Rachel Schattman, Ph.D. (University of Vermont, 2016), Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture.  Agroecology, climate change, vegetable and small fruit production, water use efficiency, decision making, behavior, risk assessment, mixed methods research.

Matthew Wallhead, Ph.D. (University of New Hampshire, 2016), Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist and Assistant Professor of Horticulture.


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