Building CAFNR’s Research Profile

Bruce Barrett appointed assistant dean in CAFNR Office of Research

Research conducted in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) spans the globe, blending traditional and high-tech agricultural science, food and natural resources policy, and directly impacts the future, from animal and human health breakthroughs, to sustainable agriculture techniques to food safety. To aid in the continuing efforts to build CAFNR’s innovative research profile, the College is appointing Bruce Barrett as assistant dean in its Office of Research, a 0.50 FTE administrative assignment.

Barrett most recently served as the interim director of the Division of Plant Sciences, taking the role in September 2019. CAFNR recently hired Heike Buecking to serve as the director of the division. Her official start date was April 1.

“We are thankful for Dr. Barrett and his willingness to take on the interim role in the Division of Plant Sciences, and I welcome him to this new and vital role for our Office of Research,” CAFNR Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert said. “Dr. Barrett represents the land-grant mission of research, teaching and Extension, and he brings in administrative experience to this role, having served CAFNR as a department chair and most recently as an interim division director.”

Barrett’s research program examines the biology and ecology of major insect pests of fruit (tree and small). For the past several years he has focused on the chemical ecology of such pests, working to determine the major volatile organic compounds of fruits that act as the host-finding attractants utilized by key pests.

His teaching duties include two undergraduate courses and one graduate-level course: PS 3710 (Introductory Entomology), PS 3715 (Insect Diversity) and PS 8720 (Insect Behavior). Barrett’s Extension responsibilities include the development and delivery of management tactics for arthropods affecting fruits, vegetables, turf and woody ornamentals.

“We’re fortunate to have Dr. Barrett serving in this new role for our College,” said Shibu Jose, associate dean in the CAFNR Office of Research. “In this role, Dr. Barrett will take care of several of the functions related to graduate education, such as CAFNR graduate student awards, dissertation research improvement grants and the George Washington Carver Fellowship. Dr. Barrett will also oversee the Missouri Foundation Seeds activities and help with the Missouri AgLime program administration, among other duties.”

Barrett came to the University of Missouri in 1990 as an assistant professor in the department of entomology. He served as an associate professor in the department of entomology from 1997-2008, including four years as chair of the department. Barrett has served as a professor in the Division of Plant Sciences since 2009 and director of undergraduate studies in the division since 2017. Barrett is a member of the Entomological Society of America and the Central States Entomological Society. He earned the CAFNR Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016.

Barrett earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and his master’s degree in entomology, both from Brigham Young University (Utah). He earned his Ph.D. in entomology from Washington State University.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve CAFNR in this exciting way,” Barrett said. “I look forward to working closely with our researchers, as well as getting to know all of our outstanding graduate students.”