Department of Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology


  • 1888 Michael Gerald McCarthy becomes Station Botanist at North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station

    McCarthy conducted first experiments in plant pathology at the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station.


  • 1896 The Department of Horticulture, Arboriculture, and Botany moved to the newly constructed Primrose Hall
  • DefaultGreenhouse


  • 1901 Biological Division created

    The Biological Division is created, with coursework devoted entirely to plant pathology.

  • 1903 Frank L. Stevens teaches first course in plant pathology

    Dr. Frank L. Stevens, an instructor in the Biology department, taught the first course devoted exclusively to plant diseases.

  • DefaultDr. Frank Lincoln Stevens portrait
  • September 1903 Granville Wilt

    Dr. Frank L. Stevens published the first North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station bulletin describing tobacco plant disease Granville wilt.


  • 1917 R.A. Jehle becomes extension plant pathologist


  • 1920 (circa) Plant pathology curriculum established

    Plant pathology curriculum taught within the Department of Botany


  • 1930 Genetics curriculum established

    Genetics curriculum taught as a component of coursework in Agronomy, Zoology, and Plant Pathology departments.


  • 1945 Department of Botany and Plant Pathology established

    A Plant Pathology section is created within the School of Agriculture, and a new Department of Botany and Plant Pathology is also created.

  • 1945 J.H. Jensen becomes head of the Plant Pathology section

    Jensen established the Pesticide School in 1949, bringing together representatives of agricultural chemicals industry and research and extension workers.

  • DefaultJ. H. Jensen portrait
  • 1945 Release of Oxford 26

    Plant Pathology graduate Thomas E. Smith and E.E. Clayton of the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station release Oxford 26, the first commercial variety of tobacco with resistance to Granville wilt bacterium.

  • 1948 C.J. Nusbaum appointed Acting Head of Plant Pathology section while Dr. Jensen served on Atomic Energy Commission

    In 1948 J.H. Jensen took a year of absence to conduct a special research project for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, examining the use of atomic energy in biology and agriculture and in the effects of radiation upon plants and animals. C.J. Nusbaum stepped in as Acting Head of Plant Pathology section in his absence.

  • DefaultDr. C. J. Nusbaum, Professor J. C. Wells, and grower Clifton Carter discuss black shank disease of tobacco


  • 1950 Department of Botany and Plant Pathology moves to Gardner Hall
  • DefaultThomas Hall
  • 1950 Division of Biological Sciences

    Division of Biological Sciences created; plant pathology comprises the largest of five units.

  • 1951 Plant Disease Clinic established

    Plant Disease Clinic established in the Department of Plant Pathology as a diagnostic clinic for farmers and gardeners in North Carolina, processing plant specimens sent by mail or in person for immediate disease control recommendations. In 1970 it broadened to become the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic after bringing on scientists from the Department of Entomology.

  • DefaultDisplay of Plant Disease and Insect Clinic
  • 1953 Joseph N. Sasser joins faculty

    Dr. J.N. Sasser, a Plant Pathology Ph.D. graduate from NC State, joined the faculty in plant pathology in 1953 as a researcher in nematology. His research contributed to the reputation of the NC State Plant Pathology Department as an international center for graduate education and research in nematology.

  • DefaultDr. J. N. Sasser researching plant parasitic nematode situations
  • 1953 Nematode Assay Service

    C.J. Nusbaum's research in nematode-incited diseases of tobacco and other crops inspired the North Carolina State legislature to fund a special laboratory, greenhouse, and personnel for research, and creation of Nematode Assay Service by NC Dept. of Agriculture, 1953.

  • DefaultNematode Advisory Service Event
  • 1954 Donald E. Ellis becomes head of Plant Pathology

    D.E. Ellis served as head of the faculty of Plant Pathology in the Division of Biological Sciences, and became head of the Plant Pathology Department when it was established in 1958.

  • DefaultDon Edwin Ellis portrait
  • 1954 Hedwig Hirschmann becomes fourth woman professor at NC State

    Hedwig Hirschmann, born in Fuerth, Germany, was recognized for her research in nematode taxonomy. She was the first woman professor of plant pathology and the fourth woman hired as a professor at NC State. Hirschmann married fellow Plant Pathology faculty member Anastasios Triantaphyllou in 1960, and taught at NC State until 1992.

  • 5/24/1956 Agronomy Club Banquet

    Dr. Arthur Kelman, professor of Plant Pathology, receives an award for being voted the most outstanding professor in the School of Agriculture at the first annual Agronomy Club Banquet.

  • 1958 Department of Plant Pathology established


  • 1964 Dr. Arthur Kelman becomes president of the American Phytopathological Society
  • 1967 Additional female full professors

    The fourth and fifth female full professors are appointed. Hedwig Hirschmann Triantaphyllou became a full professor of Plant Pathology and Emily Quinn Pugh became a full professor of Adult Education.

  • DefaultDr. Emily Quinn portrait


  • 1973 First African American Woman Ph.D. Recipient

    Nannette Smith Henderson becomes the first African American woman to be awarded a Ph.D. at NC State, with a degree in Plant Pathology.

  • 1973 Robert Aycock becomes head of Plant Pathology Department

    Dr. Aycock joined the plant pathology faculty at NC State in 1955, and replaced Donald E. Ellis as head of the department in 1973.

  • DefaultDr. Robert Aycock and graduate student Joe Fox studying disease specimen submitted to Plant Disease Clinic
  • 1974 First African American Woman to Receive Ph.D.

    Nanette Smith Henderson became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. from NC State University. She received her degree in Plant Pathology.

  • 1975 Joseph N. Sasser receives grant for International Meloidogyne Project

    Plant Pathology professor and nematologist J.N. Sasser was awarded a grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which led to the development of the International Meloidogyne Project in 1981. The project involved the cooperation of more than 100 scientists from over 70 developing countries, to increase yields of food crops through research into the biology and management of root-knot nematodes.


  • 1984 William L. Klarman becomes head of Department of Plant Pathology

    Dr. Klarman became Vice Chancellor for Research at North Carolina State University in 1990.

  • DefaultVice Chancellor William L. Klarman portrait


  • 1992 O.W. Barnett becomes head of Plant Pathology Department


  • 2002 James Moyer becomes head of Plant Pathology Department