Director of Oat Global
Professor and Head, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota
Co-Director, The Stakman-Borlaug Center for Sustainable Plant Health
Jim studied horticulture at Michigan State University (B.S.) and Plant Breeding & Genetics (M.S., Ph.D.) at University of Wisconsin and completed postdoctoral research at Rutgers University and USDA-ARS. Jim joined the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota in 2002 and is currently Professor and Head of the department. Jim is also co-Director of the Stakman-Borlaug Center for Sustainable Plant Health. Jim’s research focuses on the genetic improvement of disease resistance in crop plants to reduce the need for chemical inputs. One line of research applies functional genomics analysis of potato late blight resistance with the goal of deploying potato varieties carrying disease resistance from wild potato species. A second line of research includes evolutionary genomics analysis of disease resistance genes across plant families. At present, he and his research team are developing informatics tools to visualize evolutionary patterns of disease resistance genes in the Rosaceae (apple, peach, strawberry), leveraging observed patterns to discover novel genes for apple scab resistance. Jim also teaches graduate courses including molecular plant pathology, molecular plant-microbe interactions, and scientific communication.