University Catalog 2024-2025

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology

Plants are critical for sustaining life on Earth, from microscopic algae to giant sequoia trees. Through the fundamental study of these organisms, plant biologists play a major role in providing us with more and better foods, in helping to characterize and preserve the quality of our environment, and in learning more about the many ways plants can be used.

The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology offers the only plant biology undergraduate degree in the state of North Carolina and houses world-class teaching and research programs that prepare our students for advanced training and careers in a number of life science and agricultural areas. Undergraduate majors have course options that span the breadth of the discipline, from plant physiology and molecular biology to floristics and plant ecology, as well as ethnobotany. Students apply what they learn through research and hands-on experiences in lab and field courses.

Selected faculty in Plant and Microbial Biology also work with the Biological Sciences faculty in the College of Sciences to offer the B.S. degree in Microbiology.

Plant Biology Undergraduate Program Highlights

  • The undergraduate major is flexible, enabling students to pursue plant biology and elective courses that align with their career goals and interests.
  • The department is home to the University Certificate in Field Botany, which students may complete en route to their degree.
  • Many Plant Biology courses include laboratory or field components that provide students with hands-on experiences.
  • A substantive research, teaching, or internship experience in the plant sciences is required of all students in the major to prepare and help qualify them for post-graduate education or employment in plant biology and the applied plant sciences, health professions, and education. Students work closely with departmental faculty and their academic advisor to identify training and career opportunities that are consistent with their goals. 
  • Undergraduate students interested in getting involved in plant biology may join the Botany Club at NC State, which has regular meetings during the academic year.

For more information about our department, including contact information, visit our PMB department website.

Contact Information

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
NC State University
Campus Box 7612
Raleigh, NC 27695-7612

Dr. Bob Franks
Professor and Department Head
NC State University
2115 Gardner Hall, Box 7612
Raleigh, NC 27695-7612
Phone : 919.515.3807

Department Head

  • Robert G. Franks

Associate Department Head

  • Marcela Rojas-Pierce


  • Chad V. Jordan, Director of Plant Biology Undergraduate Programs
  • Richard L. Blanton, Director of Plant Biology Graduate Programs
  • Susan D. Carson, Director of the Master of Microbial Biotechnology Program
  • Christine V. Hawkes, Director of Microbiology Graduate Programs
  • Michael R. Hyman, Outgoing Director of Microbiology Graduate Programs

University Research Professor

  • William F. Thompson

Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professors

  • Chad V. Jordan
  • James E. Mickle

William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professors

  • Jose M. Alonso
  • Joann M. Burkholder
  • Amy M. Grunden
  • Linda K. Hanley-Bowdoin


  • Jose M. Alonso
  • Richard L. Blanton
  • Jose M. Bruno-Bàrcena
  • Joann M. Burkholder
  • Susan D. Carson
  • Robert G. Franks
  • Amy M. Grunden
  • Candace H. Haigler
  • Linda K. Hanley-Bowdoin
  • Christine V. Hawkes
  • William A. Hoffmann
  • Michael R. Hyman
  • Alexander Krings
  • Terri A. Long
  • James E. Mickle
  • Eric S. Miller
  • Adrian Percy, Executive Director of the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative
  • Marcela Rojas-Pierce
  • Heike I.A. Sederoff
  • Ross Sozzani
  • William F. Thompson
  • Cranos M. Williams
  • Qiuyun (Jenny) Xiang
  • Deyu Xie

Professors Emeriti

  • Nina S. Allen
  • Udo Blum
  • Wendy F. Boss
  • Rebecca S. Boston
  • Margaret E. Daub
  • Eric Davies
  • Roger C. Fites
  • Paul T. Hamilton
  • James W. Hardin
  • Geraldine Luginbuhl
  • Leo W. Parks
  • Niki Robertson
  • Jon M. Stucky
  • C. Gerald Van Dyke
  • Thomas R. Wentworth

Research Professor

  • Imara Y. Perera

Teaching Professor

  • Chad V. Jordan

Associate Professors

  • Tzung-Fu Hsieh
  • Manuel Kleiner
  • Xu (Sirius) Li
  • Anna Stepanova

Associate Research Professor

  • Carole Saravitz, Phytotron Director

Associate Teaching Professor

  • Jillian M. De Gezelle

Assistant Professors

  • Orlando Arguello-Miranda
  • Mallory Choudoir
  • Zhe Lyu
  • William Petry
  • Kasie T. Raymann
  • Seema N. Sheth

Associate Members of the Faculty

  • Peter Balint-Kurti, Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • Kent Burkey, Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Vincent Chiang, Forestry and Environmental Resources
  • Kultaran Cohan, Technology Transfer Office
  • Francis de los Reyes, Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
  • Ralph Dewey, Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Colleen Doherty, Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
  • Joseph Gage, Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Shuijin Hu, Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • Sophia Kathariou, Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences
  • Slavko Komarnytsky, Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences
  • Dick Kouri, Poole College of Management
  • David Muddiman, Chemistry
  • Jean Ristaino, Entomology and Plant Pathology
  • Tom Rufty, Jr. , Crop and Soil Sciences
  • Ron Sederoff, Forestry and Environmental Resources
  • Josh Strable, Molecular and Structural Biochemistry
  • Jack Wang, Forestry and Environmental Resources
  • Ross Whetten, Forestry and Environmental Resources