J. Lawrence Apple is a native of Guilford County, NC. After being awarded a B.S. in agronomy, M.S. in plant pathology, and Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from North Carolina State University, he joined the faculty of the Department of Plant Pathology at his alma mater. He moved rapidly through the professorial ranks with responsibilities focused on research and teaching. Professor Apple’s scientific findings included demonstration of the wide range of virulence and morphology of single zoospore isolates of Phytophthora parasitica var. nicotianae. He also discovered and researched physiologic races and various mating types of this pathogen.
In 1963, Dr. Apple began his extremely distinguished career in international agriculture by accepting an assignment as plant pathology advisor in Peru under a contract between North Carolina State University and the United States Agency for International Development. In 1965, he began his equally distinguished career as a science administrator when he became chief of North Carolina State University programs in Peru. Upon his return to NCSU in 1967, he was appointed director of the Institute of Biological Sciences and assistant director of research in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Under his tenure in this position, his background and commitment to the discipline of phytopathology allowed him to provide leadership for many significant research initiatives, including work on aflatoxins and Southern corn leaf blight.
In 1977, Professor Apple was appointed to the position of associate director of research and coordinator of International Programs in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In 1981, he became director of University International Programs and associate director for International Agriculture. In these positions, he made many important contributions to international agriculture. In recognition of this expertise, he served as president of the Association of International Program Directors.
In additional to Dr. Apple’s leadership in international agriculture, he played a major role in representing phytopathology in the evolution of the philosophy, systems, and practices of integrated pest management. His leadership in the IPM arena included significant local, national, and international initiatives. Dr. Apple’s many contributions as a scientist and administrator are documented in numerous scholarly publications. In addition, the worldwide economic impact of his plant breeding-genetics research and IPM initiatives have had major impacts that will continue for decades to come.
Dr. Apple held the position of director of University International Programs at North Carolina State University until his retirement in 1991. He currently serves as secretary general of the International Plant Protection Congresses. In this role, he is providing leadership for the Congress to be held in Jerusalem in July 1999, and expansion of the organization’s role as a convener and communicator for integrated crop protection on a worldwide basis.