Iowa State University Professor Honored by American Phytopathological Society

Baum portrait
Thomas Baum

AMES, Iowa — The American Phytopathological Society has presented a prestigious research award to Iowa State University plant pathology professor Thomas Baum.

Baum was honored Aug. 1 with the Noel T. Keen Award for Research Excellence in Molecular Plant Pathology at the society’s annual meeting. “The pioneering investigations from Baum’s program have led the way for research in molecular plant-nematode interactions for almost two decades,” according to the APS’ announcement of the award (

“I am particularly proud of receiving the Noel Keen Award because I knew and admired Noel and because of the incredible caliber of prior award winners — this puts me in the company of some truly amazing researchers. This award is an absolute highlight of my career,” Baum said.

Baum joined the Iowa State faculty in 1995, and has been serving as chair of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology since 2005. The German native attended the University of Bonn and the Technical University of Munich and graduated with a degree in agricultural sciences in 1989; he earned a doctorate in 1993 in plant pathology from Clemson University.

He previously was co-recipient of the APS Ruth Allen Award for outstanding, innovative research contribution that has changed the direction of research in a field of plant pathology in 2006 and was named a Fellow of the Society of Nematologists in 2015. His research specialty is in the area of molecular interactions of nematodes, agricultural pests, with their host plants.