Thomas Baum Named Plant Pathology Department Chair
November 21st, 2005
Thomas Baum, Iowa State University associate professor, became chair of the Department of Plant Pathology effective Nov. 1.
Baum was named department chair following an internal search to replace former chair Charlotte Bronson, who was appointed associate vice provost for research in September. Ed Braun, professor of plant pathology, was named interim chair in October.
Baum joined the Iowa State faculty in September 1995. He has served as interim director of the Center for Plant Responses to Environmental Stresses, which is part of the Plant Sciences Institute, since March 2004. He has been the chair of the interdepartmental genetics major.
Baum’s research explores the molecular interactions between plant-parasitic nematodes, particularly the soybean cyst nematode, and their host plants. The goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms of nematode pathogenesis, which will lead to novel ways to combat these pests. His research also targets the molecular analyses of Asian soybean rust.
A native of Germany, Baum earned the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in agricultural science from the University of Bonn in 1985; an equivalent of a master’s degree in agricultural sciences from the Technical University of Munich in 1989; and a doctorate in plant pathology from Clemson University in 1993.