National Program Leader
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Dr. Tesfamariam Mengistu (Tesfa) provides leadership for NIFA’s research and extension efforts to develop integrated pest management strategies across all crops. He is the program director for the Methyl Bromide Transition program and co-director for the Extension Implementation program area of the Crop Protection and Pest Management program. Dr. Mengistu comes from the University of Florida, where he did research, teaching, and extension work. His research focused on understanding the molecular and genetic basis of nematode plant interactions with the aim of developing and implementing effective, sustainable, and environmentally safe management strategies. Dr. Mengistu earned his bachelor's degree in plant sciences at Alemaya University in Ethiopia; a master's in nematology at the University of Ghent in Belgium; and doctorate in soil ecosystem phytopathology and nematology at the University of Bonn in Germany. His postdoctoral research associate position was conducted at University of Illinois, where he worked in the area of pests and diseases affecting crops used for biofuel crops.