Project Leader

Dr. Richard Smiley

Dr. Richard W. Smiley

Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology

Ph.D., 1972, Washington State University, Pullman

(Curriculum Vitae)


My research was on the development of control measures for soilborne plant-pathogenic fungi and plant-parasitic nematodes that cause root and crown diseases of small grains and other dryland field crops. Emphasis was on wheat and barley diseases in low-rainfall environments that typify the majority of small grain production in the Pacific Northwest. Disease management strategies included investigations of tillage and cropping systems, improvement of genetic tolerance in crop varieties, and chemical control. This work was performed at experiment station facilities near Pendleton and Moro, and on fields of cooperating farmers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Personal Interests:

Marilyn and I enjoy learning about other cultures by traveling to other countries -- we have now visited 35 countries, many of which were extensions of travel to conferences and for professional visits with international colleagues. We enjoy fine foods, fine wines, and Pac12 football, particularly at Washington State University. I enjoyed the mental challenge required to publish research papers and continue to do so in retirement. I have also enjoyed voluntary contributions of services to professional societies such as the American Phytopathological Society. Previous activities associated with APS have included senior editorial positions in the book publishing division (APS Press), membership and leadership for several committees, serving as the APS representative to the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), and authoring chapters and entire books published by APS Press. I am also a past member of the External Advisory Committee for ENDURE, a coalition of 16 private and federal research agencies from 10 member states of the European Union. The goal of ENDURE was to improve the productivity and efficiency of pest management research across the European Union, and to develop more efficient systems for transferring plant protection information to farmers and farm advisors. I currently serve as a member of the International Wheat Initiative, where I serve on the Expert Working Group for Durable Resistance to Wheat Diseases and Pests. Lastly, I am also the North American representative to the International Cereal Nematodes Initiative, which organizes regularly scheduled workshops usually in West Asia or East Asia, but also in North Africa.

Marilyn and I are actively engaged in the Pendleton community, through financial as well as volunteer services to many local organizations. One such example is through membership and contributions to the Pendleton Rotary Club. I enjoy gardening and working on maintenance and construction projects around our home. Marilyn and I travel to Alexandria, Virginia as often as possible to visit our daughter Elizabeth.