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Faculty Members Dai, Marais and West Promoted

Faculty members Wenhao (David) Dai, G. Francois Marais and Todd West were promoted to professor within the Department of Plant Sciences.

June 26, 2017

Three Department of Plant Sciences faculty members have earned promotions, effective July 1, 2017. Wenhao (David) Dai, G. Francois Marais and Todd West were each promoted to professor. Marais and West were awarded tenure. Dai was tenured in 2009.

Dai earned his Ph.D. in Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University and was hired as an assistant professor in 2002. In 2009, he was promoted to associate professor and granted tenure. Dai leads the Woody Plant Physiology and Biotechnology project, which focuses on development of hardy and stress resistant woody species using conventional and biotechnology approaches. He also teaches courses in nursery production and management, fruit crop production, and plant tissue culture and biotechnology.

Marais earned doctorates in cereal technology at North Dakota State University and genetics at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He was hired at NDSU in 2010 as an associate professor. Marais leads the Hard Red Winter Wheat Breeding project, which focuses on the development of new winter wheat varieties that are adapted to the northern prairies and have improved winter-hardiness, disease resistance, yield and processing quality. He also teaches a course in genetics and plant improvement.

West earned his Ph.D. in Plant Biology at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and was hired at NDSU in 2011 as an associate professor. West leads the Woody Plant Improvement project, which involves the breeding, selection, evaluation and introduction of hardy woody plants for the Northern Plains, and he is responsible for the Dale E. Herman Research Arboretum. He serves as the horticulture undergraduate program coordinator, teaches courses in woody landscape plants and arboriculture science, and is a co-advisor to the NDSU Horticulture and Forestry Club.

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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