Campus News

Entomology professor named inaugural Pulliam Chair holder

Michael Strand

Professor Michael Strand has dedicated his career to unlocking the power of basic science to improve agriculture, and that dedication has earned him the recognition of the state’s agricultural community.

This fall, Strand, a professor of entomology in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has been selected as the inaugural H.M Pulliam Chair at CAES.

The chair was established in 2018 by the family of Henley Morris Pulliam, who served as an agriculture teacher in Georgia during the heart of the Great Depression and through his retirement in 1968.

“My father was a dedicated schoolteacher who gave everything he had to his family and to others,” said Pulliam’s son, Morris Michael Pulliam, an established ophthalmologist in Covington.

H.M. Pulliam’s dedication to his family and love of UGA prompted the Pulliam family to establish the professorship in their patriarch’s name. Strand was an excellent candidate for the role because of the impact his work has on UGA and agriculture.

“I am so pleased that Dr. Mike Strand will hold the H.M. Pulliam Endowed Chair. His career has garnered many accolades including a NATO Fellowship in Science, D.W. Brooks Award for Research, Regents Professor and member of the National Academy of Sciences,” said CAES Dean and Director Sam Pardue. “His honor is emblematic of the research excellence he has maintained for decades. Ranked eighth in the world by Times of London’s Higher Education Center for World University Rankings, UGA’s department of entomology achieved this distinction because of the efforts of Mike Strand and his colleagues.”

Strand came to the university in 2001. He holds an appointment in the entomology department in CAES and is a member of the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases and the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases. His work as principal or co-principal investigator has generated more than $31 million in competitive extramural funding and has been published in the world’s most selective research journals, including Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Strand’s research has been cited at a level that places him in the top 1% of cited biologists. He has delivered invited seminars and symposia in nearly every department of entomology in the United States, numerous universities in Europe, Asia and Australia and many international meetings.

Strand is an elected member of the ­National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Fellow of the Entomological Society of America. He is the recipient of the Entomological Society of America’s highest award in physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology and has also received the Brooks Award, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ highest recognition for research.