We have excellent teaching, research, and outreach programs in the areas of plant biology (cellular, genetics, genomics, microbial, molecular and physiology), agronomy (including pathology, soil management and weed science), horticulture (sustainable landscapes, fruits and vegetables), landscape architecture and environmental soil sciences (biogeochemistry, hydrology and plant-soil interactions). We have a distinguished faculty, known nationally and internationally for their research and outreach, and within UD for their excellence in teaching, advising and mentoring students.

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Featured video

University of Delaware Ph.D. candidate shares her plant science knowledge with Delaware youth:

Description for featured video

On top of her busy schedule as a University of Delaware Ph.D. candidate, Elizabeth Smith dedicates time to underserved students alongside Wilmington-based organization Four Youth. As part of a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) educational program, she gives Delaware elementary school kids hands-on exposure to the natural world. Smith encourages other UD students to get out into the local community to share knowledge and inspire the next generation. Learn more about the UD Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

Faculty spotlight

Harsh Bais
Plant Biology

Bais' research takes a multidisciplinary approach by interfacing plant biology and chemistry to unravel the underground communication process.

Latest news

  • Students analyze different parts of the soil horizons in order to uncover the history of the land. Students could go even further and use this data to determine the best way to utilize the land based on its biogeochemical history.

    Student soil analysts

    June 17, 2024 | Written by Nya Wynn | Photos courtesy of Brielle Carter
    UD’s Soils Judging Team traveled to the National Soils Judging competition this past semester after taking first place at the regional competition in Pennsylvania. The team utilized this past year to practice identifying different soil types and other aspects of the soil that help them identify the geological history of the soil. The students used “practice pits” around campus and at neighboring farms with the help of their advisors and professionals in the soil science sphere, Phil King and Jenwei Tsai, to prepare for the competition.
  • Scientific mentorship

    June 14, 2024 | Written by Katie Peikes | Photos by Evan Krape and Kathy F. Atkinson and courtesy of University Archives
    UD plant and soil sciences alumni say mentorship was a hallmark of Don Sparks’ illustrious UD career.
  • Leveraging landscape architecture for conservation

    May 30, 2024 | Written by Molly Schafer
    University of Delaware alumna Juliahna Mistretta is leveraging her landscape architecture degree for conservation. This summer, Mistretta will complete a master’s degree in global biodiversity conservation at the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom. As part of an effort to record the park's biodiversity, Mistretta collected and identified bats and beetles in Africa’s Kasanka National Park. Mistretta will combine her master's degree with her BLA from UD to create sustainable spaces that foster biodiversity and give back to the community.

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