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James W. Moyer ’73 M.S., ’75 Ph.D. Plant Pathology

Posted: December 10, 2013

Moyer received his master's and doctoral degrees in Plant Pathology from Penn State in 1973 and 1975, respectively. In 1976, he joined the faculty at North Carolina State University, where he has spent the last decade as head of the Department of Plant Pathology, one of the largest plant pathology departments in the United States.

During Moyer's time as a doctoral candidate, he was one of the first researchers to purify and identify viruses threatening Pennsylvania mushroom crops, a line of research that led to the development of one of the leading mushroom virus research programs in the world at Penn State.

At North Carolina State, Moyer is internationally known as a plant virologist, with a specialty in virus diseases of sweet potatoes, vegetables and ornamental crops. He is a recognized leader in research on the molecular biology regulating insect transmission of plant viruses and viral genetics. He also has been involved in developing and releasing five new cultivars of commercially produced sweet potatoes.

Moyer was awarded the Morrison Medal from USDA's Agricultural Research Service and the Alex Laurie Award from the floral crop industry for his basic and applied research accomplishments. He served as president of the American Phytopathological Society in 2008 and 2009 and was elected a Fellow of that society in 2001.

A lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association, Moyer gave the keynote seminar at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Department of Plant Pathology at Penn State.