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Faculty and Staff

David Andow to Lead Applied Ecology

David Andow headshot

David Andow, an ecologist with an extensive international background in agriculture and species conservation, will lead the Department of Applied Ecology beginning July 31.

Andow, an Ohio native, was selected as department head after a nationwide search.

“It’s a young, dynamic department, and I feel like I can help everybody there flourish,” Andow says. “My hope is to help put them on a pathway to continued success into the future.”

Andow spent most of his career in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, becoming a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science. For the last several years, he has been working as a researcher with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation.

In addition, Andow was a fellow for the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation in Italy, a scientific expert for the World Trade Organization, and the chair of the United States Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service’s recovery planning team for the endangered Karner blue butterfly. He also advised the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

“David has exceptional experience in research, teaching, extension and policy, and we are excited for him to bring his skills to NC State,” CALS Interim Dean John Dole says. “The Applied Ecology department has a bright future that will be even stronger with him as its head.”

Throughout his career, Andow’s research has focused on insect population and community ecology, ecological risk assessment for invasive species and genetically engineered organisms, and science policy. He was named an Entomology Society of America Fellow in 2019.

David Andow in the field
Andow doing research with wild rice

After completing the National Science Foundation’s high school program at Syracuse University, Andow was given a scholarship by the Japanese American Citizen League and received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Brown University. He earned a doctorate in ecology from Cornell University with a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation. As a postdoctoral researcher, he studied rice insects at the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences in Tsukuba, Japan, and then returned to Cornell University for a second postdoctoral appointment.

Andow is eager to help launch the undergraduate applied ecology program, and he hopes to enhance community within the department.

“I want people to feel from the staff through all the professors that I’m there to help them,” he says.