Charles Johnson, professor of plant pathology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech and Extension specialist at the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Blackstone, Virginia, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1985, Johnson served Virginia farmers producing tobacco and small fruits and promoted collaboration among fellow research faculty in Virginia, other U.S. states, and around the world in order to develop integrated disease management strategies that optimize use of host resistance, traditional pesticides, and biocontrol agents to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of crop production.

His research clarified the understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying the epidemiology and integrated management of tobacco and small fruit diseases, especially those caused by leaf spot and fruit rot pathogens, oomycetes, and plant-parasitic nematodes. He and his graduate students authored or co-authored more than 400 scholarly publications, including book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles, reviewed research reports and extension bulletins, and conference presentations.

In his role as an Extension specialist, Johnson worked with other Extension specialists, county Extension agents, agribusiness, state and federal agencies, grower organizations, and individual growers to evaluate and implement integrated disease management strategies for crop production, particularly for Southside, Southwest, and Tidewater Virginia.

Throughout his career, Johnson served on or chaired numerous committees of the Tobacco Workers Conference, American Phytopathological Society, Society of Nematologists, and Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco. His work has been recognized by several professional organizations, including the Tobacco Science Research Conference, Virginia Farm Bureau, Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors, Virginia Tobacco Growers Association, and Virginia Strawberry Growers Association.

As a teacher, Johnson guided four master’s degree students and four doctoral students to a successful completion of their degrees in plant pathology.

Johnson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.

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