I held the positions of Distinguished University Professor and Edwin F. Conger Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University (NCSU) until my retirement in 2017. I was the founder and Co-Director of the Forest Biotechnology Group at NCSU from 1988 to 2014. In 1995 I was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, one of only two current members in forestry related sciences. I have been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Forest Sciences from the Swedish Agricultural University. I am a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Association of Wood Scientists. Until retirement, I received continuous competitive federal grant funding for 48 years. I published more than 200 articles in international professional journals, coauthored a textbook on Plant Cell Walls, contributed to seven Reports for the National Academy?s National Research Council and served as an advisor for national and international government agencies, universities and industry. I have been an Associate Editor for six international journals. I trained about 50 graduate students and postdoctoral scientists. In 2017, I received the Marcus Wallenberg Prize from the King of Sweden for pioneering work in molecular genetics of forest trees.

Research Interests

Lignin. Biosynthesis. Use of lignin for carbon sequestration.

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Primary Section

Section 62: Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences