Mark Williams

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Mark Williams, an associate professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, for his research into the way plants, microbes, and soil interact to affect the health of each and of the wider ecological systems.

Williams’ research is focused on understanding how microbial communities assemble and function in ecosystems, soil, the root-zone, and other numerous habitats found in nature. He is an expert in soil, plant, water-water stress, nutrient relationships, soil ecosystems, and soil and land use.

He was the lead scientist on a recent project studying pesticides and honeybees that led to the discovery that the pesticides beekeepers are using to improve honeybee health may actually be harming the bees by damaging the bacteria communities in their guts. The results of the research were published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology in 2016.

Williams received his bachelor’s from Oregon State University and both his master’s and his Ph.D. from Kansas State University.

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Nominate a Scholar of the Week

The goals of the Scholar of the Week are to recognize individuals while also telling people about research and scholarly activities at the university.

Recognition is based on research and/or scholarship.

Please nominate individuals — not teams, groups, or more than one person.

Please provide a sentence describing the research, scholarship, or creative work in non-technical, generally accessible language. A second sentence with an example or application is helpful.

  • Send nominations to: Srinath Ekkad, Associate Vice President for Research Programs, Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.