About the Director
Dr. Craig L. Nessler, who began his career as a research scientist at Texas A&M University in 1979, returned in 2009 to serve as director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the state’s lead agency for research in the life sciences, natural resources and agriculture.
Previous to coming to AgriLife Research, for five years Nessler held a similar position as director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station at Virginia Tech. Under his leadership, the research faculty produced a 10 percent increase in new grant awards every year, raising the college’s national ranking from fourteenth to fifth in research expenditures in agriculture and natural resources.
Nessler started at Texas A&M in 1979 as an assistant professor of biology, later becoming a full professor, then associate head in the department of biology. He left for Virginia Tech in 2000 to head the department of plant pathology, physiology and weed science and later was promoted to director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station.
Nessler earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. He earned his doctoral degree in plant science with a pharmacology minor from Indiana University in 1976.