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Justin Talley
Oklahoma State University has named Justin Talley as the new head of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. He has served in the department as an OSU Extension livestock entomologist and researcher since 2006. (Photo by Todd Johnson, OSU Agricultural Communications Services)

Talley chosen for top role in entomology and plant pathology

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Media Contact: Gail Ellis | Communications Specialist, Copywriter | 620-515-2498 |

Longtime Oklahoma State University Extension livestock entomologist and professor Justin Talley has been selected to lead the OSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges officially approved the action during its Jan. 21 meeting. Talley began serving as interim department head on Jan. 1.

Thomas G. Coon, vice president and dean of OSU Agriculture, said Talley’s effective leadership skills as a faculty member with OSU Extension are reflected in his research achievements and teaching responsibilities.

“A diverse set of stakeholders look to the department for expertise related to crop, livestock and food production, and natural resource management,” Coon said. “Dr. Talley’s experience with and appreciation for this breadth positions him well for advancing the work of department faculty, staff and students. I look forward to working with him in this mission.”

Talley joined the department in 2006 as an assistant professor and Extension livestock entomologist. He has conducted research on stable fly biology, integrated control, insecticide effectiveness and parasite/host interactions. In addition to serving as a graduate student advisor, Talley has developed Extension programming for livestock producers that examines arthropods in cattle and goat production.

“The opportunity to learn from students, producers and fellow faculty members throughout my engagement in teaching, Extension and research has given me an appreciation of working with people in a collaborative manner,” Talley said. “One of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced while working at OSU as an Extension specialist is getting feedback from producers on my programs.”

The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology is home to several nationally recognized laboratories that contribute to the field of biological science as well as disciplines such as virology, bacteriology, pest management, insect immune functions, arthropod borne diseases, biodiversity and plant disease diagnostics. The Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostics Lab and the Institute for Biosecurity and Microbial Forensics serve Oklahoma communities while conducting critical pathogen research that benefits crops, forests, rangelands, animal production, wildlife and food.

“I look forward to working with all members of the department and stakeholders to highlight the integral part entomology and plant pathology play in protecting the commodities important to our state,” Talley said.

Talley is a member of the Society of Southwestern Entomologists and Entomological Society of America, and his research has earned the support of $3.5 million in grant funding. He received the Gerrit Cuperus Integrated Pest Management Professional Achievement Award from OSU Extension in 2020 and the Outstanding State Extension Specialist Award from the Oklahoma Association of Extension Agriculture Agents in 2016.

Talley earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy with an emphasis in integrated pest management and a master’s in plant, soil and environmental science at West Texas A&M University. He received his doctorate in entomology from Kansas State University.

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