Dr. Kate Everts named Hughes Center, WREC director

Dr. Kate Everts has been named director of the University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center and the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology. It is a dual position as director of each separate entity that became effective in January 2020 after a nationwide search.

“Maryland agricultural businesses must farm and forest in ways that are resilient in the face of economic, regulatory, and environmental challenges unique to our geographic location,” said Dr. Everts. “A legacy of research and programs of University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center and the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology has helped farmers connect environmentally sound and profitable agriculture practices and become some of the most progressive farmers in the nation. It is an honor to lead these outstanding Centers into the future.”

Dr. Everts, professor of the University of Maryland Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, brings 25 years of experience to this position. In addition to her former faculty position stationed at the University of Maryland Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center, she held an affiliate faculty appointment with the University of Delaware since 1996.

The thrust of Dr. Everts’ research and extension programs has been on plant pathology. Through her scholarly research and Extension programs, Kate has authored and co-authored more than 60 refereed publications and more than 150 extension publications, presented at multiple scientific conferences, and has given numerous invited talks regionally, nationally and internationally. She has been successful in securing more than $3 million in competitive national grants and has established several cooperative projects with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and numerous agricultural industries. She has done all this to help our producers to remain viable and fend off the disease pressure on their crops. Her programs have also helped her to mentor and co-mentor several undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral scientists.

As a scientific leader, Dr. Everts has been trusted to serve as editor of the journal Phytopathology, be a member of the Board of the American Pathology Society, serve as a panelist in national-level grant panels with national agencies and foundations, and be a reviewer for multiple journals related to plant and soil. Most recently, she served in several leadership positions at UMD including being the chair of the Promotion and Tenure Committee for AGNR, ADVANCE professor at UMD from 2014 to 2016, as an ADVANCE leadership fellow for 2016-2017, and served as a member of the college’s strategic visioning process and then as the co-chair of the implementation team for the “Advance Innovative, Profitable, and Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems.”

“With her extensive scholarship in research and Extension, her extensive work with farmers, agro-industry, and students, and her leadership experience on multiple levels, Kate is ready to lead the WREC and the HHAC into a bright future,” said Adel Shirmohammadi, professor and former associate dean and associate director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. "I welcome Dr. Everts with enthusiasm."