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College Station, TX 77843
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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.
Executive Associate Director
McCutchen facilitates oversight and direction of research programs across AgriLife Research. His mission includes the development and implementation of strategic research initiatives across biological sciences to include the facilitation of university and industry relationships. McCutchen also works closely with the Office of Technology Commercialization to facilitate the development of intellectual property from research and development across Texas A&M AgriLife.
McCutchen earned his bachelor’s in 1987 and master’s in 1989, both in entomology, from Texas A&M University and was awarded Texas A&M’s Distinguished Graduate Student Research Award in 1989. He received his doctorate in entomology from the University of California-Davis in 1993 and was awarded the Young Scientist Award from the American Chemical Society in 1992.
Before coming to AgriLife Research he was employed with DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition, where he was named a DuPont Research Fellow in 2002 and oversaw crop protection research and development across both agricultural biotechnology and chemistry programs. He has been granted and retains over 30 patents and pending patent applications. As DuPont’s herbicide product champion, he led an effort to develop a new generation of dual-herbicide-tolerant transgenic crops, including corn, soybeans, and cotton, and a new-generation weed-management solutions trademarked as Optimum GATTM. In addition, he provided research leadership, coordination, and fiscal oversight for development, evaluation, and commercialization across a global platform of university and industry scientists, regulatory agencies, and stakeholder groups.
Lunt began his career with AgriLife Research in 1985, when he was hired to manage the 6,372-acre McGregor Research Center. During the 23 years that Lunt served as professor and superintendent at McGregor, he also served as operations manager and, later, as associate head of operations for the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University.
As associate director, Lunt facilitates the business operations and the international research portfolio for AgriLife Research. Last year the agency conducted research and other scholarly activities in 66 countries.
Lunt’s duties also include overseeing the agency’s strategic planning, state and federal reporting, and internal grant programs for cropping systems, beef improvement, bioenergy, cotton, fire ants, and other areas.
Lunt is a magna cum laude graduate of Brigham Young University, having earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science. He also holds a Ph.D. in meat science and muscle biology from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.
Before joining AgriLife Research, Lunt lived in Arizona and New Mexico, where he was a partner in three farms and six ranches. During the past 30 years, he has been actively engaged in management and agricultural consulting for multinational companies, governments, and foundations in many parts of the world.