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Dr. Gary Moorman selected as 2014 APS Fellow

Posted: March 26, 2014

This is the highest honor given to American Phytopathological Society (APS) members in recognition of meritorious contributions to the discipline of plant pathology. Moorman will be named a Fellow at the national meeting in August 2014 in St. Paul, Minnesota, recognizing his more than 30 years of service to the profession.
Dr. Gary Moorman

Dr. Gary Moorman

About Dr. Gary Moorman

Dr. Moorman obtained his bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of Maine and master’s degree in botany from the University of Vermont. He then worked as an electron microscope technician for the American Tissue Culture Association at the W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center in Lake Placid, New York, in a lab studying lung dysfunction using large rats as test animals. That drove him back to the plant world. He received a doctoral degree from North Carolina State University. Upon his graduation, Moorman joined the University of Massachusetts as an Assistant Professor of vegetable and floral crop pathology at their field station in Waltham, MA. In 1983, he moved to Pennsylvania State University in University Park, where he has been an extension plant pathologist of floral crops, shade trees and other woody ornamentals.

Moorman has developed over 180 plant disease fact sheets and posted them on the Internet as a resource for the ornamental horticulture industry, master gardeners, homeowners, extension agents and specialists. He has published over 80 articles in national trade journals and newsletters. Additionally, he has developed over 60 extension publications and distributed them through the state and northeastern regional extension systems to help address new and emerging diseases of high-impact.  He has coauthored one book (Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials) and wrote chapters for and edited Biology, Detection and Management of Plant Pathogens in Irrigation Water, both published by the American Phytopathological Society (APS), as well as authored 19 book chapters and numerous non-refereed publications. Moorman has been in wide demand as a speaker, with over 750 extension and outreach presentations in Pennsylvania, the northeast, nationally, and internationally. In 1995 he prepared guidelines and worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture through the state legislature to get the Pennsylvania Voluntary Impatiens Certification Program enacted. This rule enables secondary propagators to obtain PA Department of Agriculture certification that their impatiens crop is free of insects, mites, and Impatiens necrotic spot virus.

Dr. Moorman has investigated diverse groups of pathogens from oomycetes to fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes in a variety of subject areas. His major contributions to the science of plant pathology are in areas of critical importance to the sustainability of the ornamental industry. Moorman was among the first to report resistance in Botrytis cinerea to benzimidazole and dicarboximide fungicides as well as the fact that many strains had multiple resistance across FRAC groups. Later he found Botrytis resistant strains to fenhexamid as well. Moorman and colleagues also reported the widespread occurrence of propamocarb and mefenoxam insensitive strains of Pythium and Phytophthora species in the ornamental industry. Moorman was one of the first to utilize molecular techniques to characterize Pythium populations in the widely-grown geranium and poinsettia crops. He has advanced the taxonomy of the genus Pythium by separating P. cryptoirregulare from the P. irregulare complex. Moorman and his graduate students have examined the phytoplasma causing elm yellow disease and the insects that vector the pathogen. Moorman has been an invited speaker at over 90 national and international research conferences.

Dr. Moorman views teaching and professional service as an integral part of his extension mission as a University professor. He has supervised eleven graduate theses and served on the graduate committees of 50 additional students. Moorman has taught six different plant pathology courses over 56 semesters, and given many guest lectures in other courses. He has served APS as Councilor-at-Large from 2006 to 2009, Treasurer, Vice President, and President of the Northeastern Division from 2002 to 2004, and Chair of the Ornamental and Turf Diseases Committee from 1988 to 1989 and again from 2002 to 2003. Moorman also served as a Senior Editor for APS PRESS from 2000 to 2003, for Plant Health Progress from 2005 to 2008, and now serves as a Senior Editor for Plant Disease.

APS Fellow

The society grants this honor to a current APS member in recognition of distinguished contributions to plant pathology or to The American Phytopathological Society. Fellow recognition is based on significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: original research, teaching, administration, professional and public service, and/or extension and outreach. Recipients of this honor receive a plaque and recognition granted to only a few society members.

We congratulate Dr. Gary Moorman on this outstanding achievement!

You can learn more about Dr. Moorman and his research on his website.