Gary P. Munkvold
Gary P. Munkvold was born in Chicago, IL in 1964. He received his B.S. degree in forestry in 1986 and his M.S. degree in plant pathology in 1988 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. In 1992 he received his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Munkvold was appointed assistant professor of plant pathology at Iowa State University in 1993 and was promoted to associate professor in 1998. His appointment is 70% extension and 30% research.
Dr. Munkvold has developed an exemplary extension and research program, providing significant and necessary programs that are responsive to the crop producers of Iowa. He joined the faculty of Iowa State University in 1993, when flooding was severe in Iowa, and focused his extension efforts on the effects of excess moisture and flooding conditions on diseases of alfalfa, corn, and soybean. Numerous presentations, newsletter articles, and press releases were prepared to educate growers and agribusiness on the pertinent issues relating to field crop diseases and excess soil moisture.
Dr. Munkvold has worked cooperatively with extension field staff to assess the plant disease situation throughout Iowa and to develop educational materials and programs to address those needs. He has conducted surveys for serious alfalfa pathogens in conjunction with extension field crop specialists. He is currently working on developing predictive models for gray leaf spot of corn to improve management recommendations for this disease in Iowa.
A related, notable aspect of Dr. Munkvold’s extension efforts at Iowa State University is his collaboration with individuals in other departments and units. Dr. Munkvold has worked on applied research and extension projects with other Iowa State University faculty and staff from the departments of agronomy, entomology, and plant pathology, the Seed Science Center, and the USDA National Animal Disease Center. The results of these efforts are extension publications concerning diseases of field crops based on research conducted in Iowa.
One of the strengths of Dr. Munkvold’s extension program is the variety of quality extension publications developed. Many of these extension publications are used frequently for programs at various levels of the extension system throughout Iowa. Extension personnel in other Midwest states also utilize these publications. In addition to traditional printed bulletins, Dr. Munkvold has written numerous, timely articles about the identification and management of various field crop diseases that are published in the popular press. Dr. Munkvold has developed several slide sets on topics of disease identification and management. These slide sets are used extensively by agribusiness throughout the state and region to educate growers about the biology and management of alfalfa, corn, and soybean diseases.
Dr. Munkvold provides significant effort in accurately diagnosing and providing effective management recommendations for the corn samples submitted each year to the Iowa State University Plant Disease Clinic. Dr. Munkvold also answers hundreds of telephone and E-mail inquiries annually from growers and other members of agribusiness on the biology, identification, and management of corn diseases in the state and region. His training of county extension staff and extension field specialists has led to an increase in the number of samples diagnosed at the county extension office and fewer samples diagnosed at the campus level.
Dr. Munkvold has been a very active participant in short courses and hands-on clinics that are conducted by the Iowa State University Agribusiness Education Program. He is solely responsible for presenting information on disease diagnosis and management at numerous Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL) corn and soybean production clinics held for several weeks each summer. He initiated and annually coordinates the late-season field crop disease clinic at FEEL. Dr. Munkvold also initiated and continues to coordinate the Annual Disease Management Short Course taught for the Iowa State University Agribusiness Education Program each winter. He gives numerous presentations on biology and management of field crop diseases at the agricultural chemical dealer update sessions, private and commercial pesticide applicator training sessions, and numerous crop clinics held annually throughout Iowa. Dr. Munkvold reaches thousands of producers and agribusiness personnel each year with pathology information.
Dr. Munkvold has an active research program designed to answer pertinent questions concerning Iowa-specific field crop disease situations. He has focused on the epidemiology and management of ear rot diseases of corn. He is currently investigating the effects of Bt genes in corn on infection by ear rotting fungi. He has shown that corn plants with the Bt genes significantly reduce levels of the mycotoxin, fumonisin, in the grain. His research has also provided definitive evidence for the occurrence of systemic, symptomless infection of corn by Fusarium moniliforme and defined the relative importance of this as a pathway to kernel infection. He has shown how infected seed can be processed to reduce the incidence of infection by this fungus. In collaborative work with Dr. C. A. Martinson of Iowa State University, the benefits of using fungicides for managing foliar diseases of seed corn were clearly demonstrated. This work is estimated to have saved the seed corn industry $600 to $900 million annually.
Dr. Munkvold has served Iowa State University and his professional scientific societies extremely well, providing contributions to numerous committees. Within APS he has served as a member of the mycotoxin, standardization of common names, and extension committees, serving as chair of the Extension Committee in 1996.