CLEMSON — Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences has named Paula Agudelo associate dean of research and Experiment Station director.

Paula Agudelo

Paula Agudelo

Agudelo, a nematologist and professor of plant pathology in Clemson’s plant and environmental sciences department, was named to the position after a national search.

She will lead a statewide research enterprise that secured $13.6 million in grants in 2018 to conduct research in animal production, plant science, food safety and packaging science, global food security, agribusiness, forestry and conservation of natural resources.

Since joining Clemson University in 2004, Agudelo has served in a number of roles related to plant science and agriculture. Most recently, she served the college as interim associate dean for research and graduate studies, leading the effort to merge the office with the Experiment Station.  The Clemson Experiment Station is comprised of six Research and Education Centers (RECs) located throughout the state and tasked with conducting research specific to the agricultural, economic and natural resources needs of the regions where they are located.

“Paula has a proven record of research, teaching and administrative excellence and is a passionate advocate for Clemson’s role in supporting the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries through relevant research discoveries made here on campus and in our RECs,” said Keith Belli, dean of the college.

Agudelo’s research program in plant nematology has national and international visibility through her publications, international courses and live nematode collections. She has served as editor for the Journal of Nematology, president of the Organization of Nematologists of Tropical America and panel manager for the USDA Methyl Bromide Transitions program, among other leadership roles. She has a Bachelor of Science in agronomy from Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Master of Science in plant pathology from Universidad de Caldas and Ph.D. in plant science from the University of Arkansas.

“Scientists in Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences are committed to fulfilling the university’s land-grant mission of teaching, research and Extension. I look forward to supporting them as they make research discoveries that will help keep South Carolina farmers competitive on a national and global scale and conserve the state’s natural resources,” Agudelo said.

Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture, a complementary state agency that works collaboratively with the college on research and outreach, is seeking $1.54 million in recurring funds from the South Carolina Legislature to support its research efforts and $4 million in nonrecurring funds to construct and improve student housing at its Research and Education Centers. The funds are intended to further integrate agricultural teaching, research and outreach efforts. The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences underwent a reorganization in 2018 that moved Cooperative Extension and the Clemson Experiment Station under the umbrella of the college.