Plant pathologist Anne E. Dorrance has been named to the top leadership position at The Ohio State University Wooster campus.
On Jan. 1, 2020, she will begin a four-year term as associate dean and director for the Wooster campus and associate director for the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
When announcing Dorrance’s new position, Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration of Ohio State and dean of CFAES, said “Dr. Dorrance’s appointment to this position is essential to the continuing success of our Wooster campus and the college.”
In her new role, she will also serve on the Vice President and Dean’s Administrative Cabinet, providing leadership and oversight for the Wooster campus. The campus is home to both the two-year Ohio State ATI and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).
Dorrance has been a faculty member in CFAES’ Department of Plant Pathology and based in Wooster since fall 1997. She currently serves as a professor in the department and was the director of the CFAES Center for Soybean Research.
She has developed a nationally recognized research and outreach program on the management of soybean diseases that impact Ohio producers. Her main responsibilities are in soybean and field crop research, with emphasis on soybeans, wheat, and corn. She also co-teaches the Diseases of Field Crops course, educating students on key diseases impacting crop plants, with an emphasis on identification and management strategies.
Dorrance’s educational activities also involve statewide Ohio State University Extension programming for production agriculture, intensive soybean disease short courses, development of OSU Extension literature, and extensive participation in county and statewide educational sessions.
She and her students have contributed to identifying and characterizing new sources of resistance to many soybean pathogens evaluation of new chemistries for effectiveness, focusing primarily on those that are soilborne as well as determining when host resistance and/or chemistries are needed to manage the predominant soybean pathogens in Ohio.
Dorrance earned an associate degree in biology from Herkimer County Community College, Herkimer, NY; a bachelor’s degree in forest biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse, NY; a master’s degree in plant pathology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; and a PhD in plant pathology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA. She also was a post-doc in plant pathology at Washington State University, Pullman, WA.
She has received several awards including the Ohio Soybean Council’s Outstanding Achievement Award (2002), the American Soybean Association’s Special Meritorious Award (2008), and the American Phytopathological Society Excellence in Extension Award (2009). She was also designated a Fellow in the American Phytopathological Society (2016).
Leadership of the Wooster campus was most recently held by long-time director David Benfield, who retired in December. Benfield has been a professor in the OARDC Food Animal Health Research Program since 2002, where he has conducted research in virology, immunology, and microbiology.