Thursday, June 8, 2023
HomeRegional NewsSDSU Extension Welcomes New Plant Pathology Specialist

SDSU Extension Welcomes New Plant Pathology Specialist

BROOKINGS, S.D. – SDSU Extension welcomes Madalyn Shires as an assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science and SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Specialist.

“I am excited that Shires joined our plant pathology team,” said David Wright, head of the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science. “Her knowledge of plant pathology and research strengthens our ability to support South Dakota farmers and the agricultural community.”

Shires grew up on a small farm in southern Oklahoma and received her bachelor’s degree in plant and soil sciences from Oklahoma State University. Shires then went on to obtain her doctoral degree at Texas A&M University in the Plant Pathology and Microbiology Department.

“I have been focused on plant viruses and plant disease diagnostics throughout my previous roles and research,” said Shires. “I also bring research skills in epidemiology, assay design for pathogen detection and differentiation, and experience in being part of large research collaborations.”

While in Texas, Shires enjoyed working closely with Extension and says that the robust Extension program at SDSU is one of the aspects that interested her in the role.

“I enjoy being able to address issues as they arise in the field and bringing science out of the lab so that it is accessible to all,” said Shires.

Shires was most recently a post-doctoral research associate at Washington State University, bringing a wide variety of experience and education to SDSU including the genotyping of viruses and phytoplasmas, epidemiology of X-Disease, and assay development and optimization for plant disease detection.

“I hope to serve stakeholder needs around plant disease education and management,” said Shires. “I also hope to build lasting relationships and collaborations with growers, crop consultants, and other Extension personnel.”

For more information, contact Madalyn Shires, assistant professor and SDSU Extension Plant Pathology Specialist, at or 605-651-5631.

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