The Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science is one of the oldest departments at Virginia Tech, dating back to 1889. Over the years, the disciplines of the Department have split and merged into various combinations. A separate Department of Plant Pathology was first established in 1907 and continued to exist in various forms until 1935, when Plant Pathology became part of the Biology Department. The current structure of the Department was established in 1949 with the name Plant Pathology and Physiology and remained unchanged until 1983, when Weed Science was added to the Department's name to recognize the third main discipline housed in the department.


  • Entomology and Mycology Department (1889-1891)
  • Horticulture, Entomology and Mycology Department (1891-1902)
  • Entomology and Mycology Department (1902-1904)
  • Mycology Department (1904-1907)
  • Plant Pathology Department (1907-1914)
  • Plant Pathology and Bacteriology Department (1914-1919)
  • Plant Pathology Department (1919-1926)
  • Botany and Plant Pathology Department (1926-1935)
  • Biology Department (1935-1949)
  • Department of Plant Pathology and Physiology (1949-1983)
  • Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science (1983-present)

Department Heads

  • Boris Vinatzer (Interim, 2015-present)
  • Elizabeth A. Grabau (2006-2015)
  • E. L. Stromberg (Interim, 2004-2006)
  • C. L. Nessler (2000-2004)
  • K. K. Hatzios (1997-2000)
  • L. D. Moore (1985-1997)
  • G. R. Hooper (1980-1984)
  • C. L. Foy (1974-1980)
  • H. B. Couch (1965-1974)
  • S. A. Wingard (1949-1964)

For further information, see A History of Plant Pathology in Virginia (1888-1997) by C. W. Roane.