Wheat scientist Tim Murray to chair Plant Pathology

Tim Murray head shot
Tim Murray, new chair of WSU’s plant pathology department.

PULLMAN, Wash. —Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist Tim Murray has been named chair of Washington State University’s plant pathology department.

Renowned for his research in wheat disease management and pathogen resistance, Murray’s appointment marks the second time that he has served as department chair.

Effective July 1, 2019, Murray succeeds Interim Department Chair Lori Carris.

“Tim Murray is an experienced leader and a highly respected scientist whose research has profoundly impacted wheat disease management in the state of Washington and far beyond,” said André-Denis Wright, Dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. “We’re thankful to outgoing chair Lori Carris for her effective leadership and for raising the impact and standing of WSU Plant Pathology at the national and international levels, and to Tim for his willingness to carry the torch of leadership once again.”

Recent retirements mean that Murray will help lead the department in hiring new faculty. It’s an opportunity he looks forward to.

“It’s always exciting to bring in new faculty,” he said, “to be part of shaping the future of the department.”

The next few years could see as many as six new faculty hires, including a new potato pathologist.

“These positions are important to agriculture in our communities and in our state, and it’s a privilege to be part of the decision-making process as department chair,” Murray said.

A WSU alumnus and career-long Coug, Murray received his bachelor’s degree in plant science from the University of California, Davis in 1979, his master’s in plant pathology from WSU in 1980, and his doctorate in plant pathology from WSU in 1983. He joined the WSU faculty that same year and served as chair of the department of plant pathology from 2000-2008.

His research focuses on wheat diseases, pathogen resistance, and sustainable methods of disease management. He is a fellow and former president of the American Phytopathological Society.