Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology


Our Mission:
Conduct leading edge research on plant diseases and plant-microbe interactions that directly and indirectly impact: Our ability to feed the world; Human and animal health; Environmental stewardship and sustainability. Educate and prepare leaders in the STEM fields of plant and environmental health through a creative and challenging educational environment that integrates scholarship, fundamental knowledge, and experiential learning. Convey information relevant to society through effective outreach and services that address plant health, food safety and environmental health to the citizens of Texas, the United States and the World.

An extension of this mission is to train the next generation of environmental professionals by providing them both the analytical and biological understanding to successfully protect the environment while promoting economic vitality.

Our Vision:
Positively impact our ability to “Feed the World”, “Protect our Environment”, and ”Improve our Health” by excelling in the education and preparation of students in the fields of Plant Health and Disease, Plant-Microbe Interactions and Bioenvironmental Sciences.


Undergraduate Graduate
A  B.S. in the STEM field of Bioenvironmental Sciences equips you to play a direct role in developing and implementing solutions to environmental problems. Our graduates often enter careers in industry or government associated with prevention and remediation of environmental hazards, such as microbial threats, toxic wastes, and other damage to fragile ecosystems.

Use of hands-on experiences in our classrooms, laboratories, and excellent internship opportunities ensure that you gain experience with the concepts and the technology essential for prevention, assessment, and abatement of environmental problems. Students in BESC have the unique opportunity to build their networking skills prior to graduation by participating in our student chapter of the National Association of Environmental Professionals, which hosts speakers from industry and government agencies involved in environmental careers.

Our BESC Professional Board is composed of environmental professionals from across Texas eager to help you succeed. We host an annual BESC Symposium and career expo.

We also teach a Study Abroad course on environmental issues in China to provide international experience in environmental issues and sampling.


Plant Pathology is the STEM field focused on science on plant health and disease, including the organisms, vectors, “-omics” and environmental conditions that influence  the outcome of the interactions.  We train  the next generation of professional phytopathologists.

We emphasize  fundamental organismal, physiological, molecular and genomic concepts associated with fungal, bacteriological, viral, mycoplasmal and physiogenic diseases.

Faculty programs focus on a diversity of plant-microbe interactions, from plant innate immunity, biocontrol, host-pathogen interactions (signals, volatiles), mycotoxins, pathogenicity mechanisms, control of programmed cell death, to biofuels. and bioinformatics.

The department encompasses projects that attack applied problems like plant disease control with both classical and modern approaches.

The department  is associated with the Institute for Plant Genomics & Biotechnology (IPGB), other Texas A&M departments and  the network of AgriLife Research & Extension Centers.

We address the educational plant health needs in Texas of crop agriculture, green industry, homeowners, and other clientele with plant health issues. We provide accurate, state-of-the-art plant disease diagnostics, participate in national plant diagnostic networks, and train first responders.

We support Texas Extension agents through county-based Extension programs as plant pathology resources are requested. We contribute to the applied, field research responsibilities of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.



All Undergraduate Degrees

We offer 3 undergraduate degrees with a wide range of career options

Bioenvironmental Sciences Degree

Our featured degree program for undergrad students

graduate degree

Graduate Program

Offering a M.S. and Ph.D. customized to your desired focus



“Today represents the culmination of an effort begun in fall 2015. Plant Pathology and Microbiology is focused on understanding the genetic, molecular and physiological interactions between plants and their microbial community, or microbiome. Our motto is “Healthy Plants, Healthy Planet, Healthy People.” This simple message is even more relevant today as we must produce more food and fiber using less land, less water, and fewer agronomic inputs.”  -Dr. Leland (Sandy) Pierson III – Department Head & Professor

To read more click here 

Important Contacts

Undergraduate Program:

Sam Murdock, Academic Program Coordinator

324 PLPM Building

(979) 845-2388

Graduate Recruiting Chair:

Dr. Daniel Ebbole, Professor

213C PLPM Building

(979) 845-4831

Associate Department Head for Academic Affairs: 

Dr. Won Bo Shim, Professor

301 PLPM Building

(979) 458-2190

Associate Department Head & Program Leader for Extension:

Dr. Kevin Ong, Professor

304 PLPM Building


Business Administration:

Karen Hodges, Business Administrator III 

315 PLPM Building

(979) 845-7313

Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab

Phone: 979-845-8032


Where we’re located

Plant Pathology and Microbiology Building
496 Olsen Blvd.
2132 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-2132 Aggie Maps

Phone: (979) 845-7311
Fax: (979) 845-6483