Meet the executive leadership of Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

G. Cliff Lamb, Ph.D., Director

G. CLiff Lamb portrait, standing in suit

G. Cliff Lamb, Ph.D., is director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the state’s premier research agency in agriculture, natural resources and the life sciences.

Lamb served as head of the Texas A&M Department of Animal Science from 2017 to 2022, when he transitioned to leading AgriLife Research. His impacts as AgriLife Research director include overseeing a record $160 million in competitive grants and the largest competitive award in the agency’s history — $65 million for climate-smart agriculture and natural resources development. He has also championed modernized research infrastructure across Texas at 13 regional research and extension centers and at the agency headquarters in College Station. He helmed the launches of the Texas A&M AgriLife precision phenotyping greenhouse and the on-campus cryogenic electron microscopy, Cryo-em, facility, as well as the establishment of the Texas A&M Institute for Equine Sciences.

Lamb also has guided the procurement of the Thomas Ranch and Dolle Barker Farm to support regenerative agricultural research, extension and education initiatives. He continues to foster graduate student opportunities for research across Texas to develop the next generation of research leaders. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Middle Tennessee State University, followed by a master’s and a doctorate in reproductive physiology from Kansas State University.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lamb, contact Angela Bailey, assistant to the Director.

Phone: (979) 314-8197

Leland “Sandy” Pierson, Ph.D., Associate Director and Chief Scientific Officer

Leland "Sand" Pierson portriat

Leland “Sandy” Pierson, Ph.D., professor in the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, serves as Interim Associate Director and Chief Scientific Officer for Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Pierson served as head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology from 2009 to 2022. He earned his bachelor’s in microbiology at the University of California, Davis, and a doctorate in microbiology at Washington State University. Pierson served as a research fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service — focused on Root Disease and Biological Control Research. He served 19 years as a faculty member at the University of Arizona, where he served as chair of the Institutional Biosafety Committee as well as Division Chair in the Department of Plant Sciences.

In his research, Pierson is known as a pioneer in defining the roles and regulation of microbial secondary metabolites such as phenazines in rhizosphere microbial community communication and biocontrol. He served as chair of the national plant pathology department head committee and was elected a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in 2015. He also served the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture committee to support research on huanglongbing disease, or citrus greening, which threatens citrus production at large.

Pierson actively promotes research throughout Texas and works closely with a broad spectrum of agricultural researchers and industries.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Pierson, contact Rachel Tydlacka, administrative assistant.

Phone: (979) 314-8187

Stephen Cisneros, Associate Director for Operations and Development

Stephen Cisneros in suit and tie portriat

Stephen Cisneros is AgriLife Research’s associate director for operations and development. Cisneros supports research activities in Bryan-College Station and at 13 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Centers across the state — largely focused on strengthening Texas commodities.

Cisneros leads strategic and financial planning for AgriLife Research, and he works to increase available funds for research along with supervising statewide research infrastructure and investments. Before joining AgriLife Research in 2022, Cisneros served as Texas A&M Foundation assistant vice president for development within the Texas A&M University Mays Business School. In that role, he led all business development and fundraising in support of the school’s vision and mission. His team’s work resulted in over $70 million in support of Texas A&M.

He earned a master’s degree with an emphasis in wealth management at the Texas A&M University School of Law. Cisneros also earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He is a graduate of the Texas Bankers Association Trust School.

To schedule an appointment with Stephen Cisneros, contact Rachel Tydlacka, administrative assistant.

Phone: (979) 314-8187

a woman in protective clothing examines a sample through a microscope

Research and Researchers at TAMU Scholars

For a comprehensive look at published research across AgriLife Research, the agencies of Texas A&M AgriLife and The Texas A&M University System — as well as information on our research faculty — visit TAMU Scholars online.

Collaborate with AgriLife Research

Are you an expert in an emerging field of research in agriculture, natural resources or the life sciences? Please send us a message to discuss potential collaborations or to help expand our growing list of emerging research areas.

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