Charles Joseph Nusbaum (1906-1987), was a native or Oregon, and attended Oregon State College. In 1934, he received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin and was later employed by the USDA and Clemson University. He joined the faculty at North Carolina State University in 1948 and led the Department of Plant Pathology’s tobacco disease research program until his retirement in 1973, as a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor.
Dr. Nusbaum’s pioneering work on the epidemiology of diseases caused by nematodes and the influence of crop rotations on soilborne pathogens earned him international recognition. Indeed, his work anticipated and laid the foundation for disease management and advisory systems that are essential components of integrated pest management, systems ecology and sustainable agricultural practices.
The Nusbaum Conference is supported by an endowment established by Dr. Nusbaum and his wife, Virginia. The biennial series began in 1983 as the Nusbaum Symposium. The theme of the first symposium reflected Dr. Nusbaum’s career-long interests and was entitled “Ecology and Population Dynamics of Soilborne Plant Pathogens.” Subsequent symposia focused on: Recognition and host specificity in plant disease; Genetic modification of plant and microorganisms for disease and pest management; Biological control of diseases; Mycotoxins; Sustainable agriculture; Ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions; and Land-grant universities in transition.