AUBURN, Ala.—Nannan Liu, Auburn University professor of entomology and internationally recognized insect molecular toxicologist, has been elected by her colleagues to a three-year term as chair of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in the College of Agriculture. She assumed the new position March 1.
Liu was awarded her Ph.D. in insect toxicology from Cornell University in 1995. She came to Auburn as an assistant professor in 1997, was promoted to associate professor in 2003 and full professor in 2009 and has served as the Entomology and Plant Pathology Endowed Professor in the College of Agriculture since 2010. In fall 2013, she was named to a five-year Alumni Professorship by the Auburn Alumni Association.
With a long-term goal of reducing and preventing the spread of mosquito-borne sicknesses, Liu focuses her research program on the genetic mechanisms involved in the development of insecticide resistance in disease-carrying mosquitoes. In her 17 years at Auburn, she has secured more than $2.6 million in competitive grant dollars to fund her work.
Liu assumes the chair position most recently held by entomology professor Arthur Appel, who in January was named to an interim post as College of Agriculture associate dean for research and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station assistant director. Appel, who served nine years as entomology and plant pathology department chair, will return to his position on the faculty once a permanent associate dean/assistant director is named.
College of Agriculture Dean Bill Batchelor voiced strong support in approving Liu’s selection.
“Dr. Liu has an exemplary record as a researcher, teacher and adviser at Auburn, and I am confident she will maintain her high standard of excellence in leading and strengthening her department,” Batchelor said.
Liu said that, as chair, she will support all faculty efforts to increase extramural funding and will promote research collaborations with leading entomologists and plant pathologists worldwide.