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Jellison Named New Director at Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Friday, August 28, 2015  
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Announcement from Steve Goodwin,
Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst

Jody L. JellisonI am very pleased to inform you that Jody L. Jellison, a plant biologist and pathologist and long-time leader of local, regional and national agricultural research and Extension programs, has been named director of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment at UMass Amherst and assistant vice chancellor for agricultural research and engagement. In this position, she will also hold the titles of director, UMass Extension and director, Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station.

Most recently Jellison has been the associate director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station at Virginia Tech, where she shared operational and programmatic oversight of 11 agricultural research and extension centers. She also chaired the Plant Germplasm Release programs, was actively involved in variety development and patenting and in many multistate initiatives and has had shared responsibility for the administration and evaluation of more than 200 federally funded agricultural, animal health and forestry research projects. Prior to that she directed the School of Biology and Ecology at the University of Maine, where she was a professor for 25 years. Additionally, Jellison has served as the director of the Maine Agricultural Center and interim associate director of the Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Jody Jellison has longtime experience in working with New England agriculture and forestry and we are delighted that she will be bringing those skills to UMass Amherst and to the Commonwealth. Her extensive knowledge and background in agriculture and plant botany, along with her leadership in these areas, make her the ideal director for the center, extension, and the experiment station.

The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, which is the contemporary standard bearer of the university’s 19th century land-grant origins, integrates research and outreach education in agriculture, food systems and the environment. The center provides linkages from the university with vibrant business, policy, and public interest sectors in the state, including agriculture, the horticultural green industries, environmental decision-makers and food system interests. UMass Extension, the Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Water Resources Research Center are all units of the Center.

In the newly created position of assistant vice chancellor for agricultural research, Jellison will represent the concerns of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment at the highest levels of university leadership.

A noted research scientist, Jellison has published over 100 reviewed scholarly publications and four patents. Jellison has worked internationally, most notably in Japan, Sweden, Chile and Germany. She did postdoctoral work in immunology, molecular plant biology, and economic botany at Harvard University and holds a PhD and MS from Oregon State University in plant pathology and a BS from the University of New Hampshire in botany and plant pathology.

Jellison begins her new duties on January 4, 2016.

Courtesy of Steve Goodwin, UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture

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