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Our Department

We focus on the foundations of life.
Join us and dig deep.

Dedicated to Your Success

Collaboration is the foundation of the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology (PMB). We foster strong ties with a number of other departments across the college and beyond to give our students the best possible education.

We focus on the biology of plants and of microorganisms, while partnering with the College of Sciences to support graduate and undergraduate programs in Biological Sciences, Microbiology, and Genetics. Our department also offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Plant Biology, as well as our interdepartmental Microbiology graduate degrees. 

Our department is internationally-recognized, with faculty who have won numerous awards for teaching and scholarly excellence. And our graduates go on to distinguish themselves in careers in academia, government, industry, and environmental and public service organizations. We are committed to student success, and it shows.

Aurora Toennisson, a Ph.D student studying plant and microbial biology, is working on a plant biology project funded by NASA through the NC Space Grant. Photo by Marc Hall

Mission Statement

The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology develops knowledge to create social and economic prosperity and well-being through agricultural and life science discovery, learning, and engagement.

We empower students to address critical needs for the 21st century through the lens of plant and microbial biology, while promoting responsible applications of research.

We foster a diverse, inclusive, and collaborative community of scholars, educators, and community members who come together to address major scientific and environmental challenges.

Core Values

We strive to create a climate that enhances the well-being and sense of belonging for all members of the Department, by encouraging all to contribute enthusiastically to our shared goals and vision. 

We promote diversity by cultivating a culture of strong collegiality, and by supporting faculty, staff and students from all backgrounds. We believe that diverse perspectives of opinion, thought and life experience are critical for the work we do.

We strive to stimulate curiosity and innovation in our research, teaching, and extension efforts.

We seek to inspire ourselves and others to establish a practice of life-long learning, improvement, and service.

We promote collaboration and synergistic teamwork that is grounded in mutual respect and equitable actions. 

We support the growth and professional development of students, faculty and staff through education and intentional mentoring.

We work to maintain ethical and fair practices in the service to our goals. 

Our Roots Run Deep

Plant Biology and Microbiology have been part of NC State since the University’s inception. Today, the discipline of microbiology is represented in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Science.

Special thanks to former professor Dr. James Troyer, who assembled a detailed history of Plant Biology at NC State.

Scientist in a lab holding a tray of Arabidopsis