AMES, Iowa — Kendall Lamkey, Iowa State University professor of agronomy, will become interim chair of the Department of Agronomy effective Feb. 1. Lamkey's appointment will be for two years. He will continue to be director of the Raymond F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding and hold the Pioneer Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding.
He replaces Steven Fales, who was named associate director of the Office of Biorenewable Programs. Fales joined the agronomy department as department chair in 2001. In his new position, Fales will assist research, teaching and extension activities related to the Iowa State University Bioeconomy Initiative within the College of Agriculture and with other entities on and off campus.
Lamkey is an Iowa State alumnus who earned a doctorate in plant breeding and cytogenetics in 1985. He earned a master's degree in plant breeding and genetics and a bachelor's degree in agronomy from the University of Illinois.
His research focuses on the application of quantitative genetics to plant breeding problems in corn. Lamkey runs an inbred line development program and conducts several recurrent selection programs.
The agronomy department educates about 350 undergraduate and graduate students. There are about 50 faculty in the department and about 120 staff members. The department celebrated its centennial in 2002.