Interim director bios
Dr. Harald Scherm currently holds the position of Professor and Department Head in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia (UGA). He also serves as the coordinator of interdisciplinary graduate certificate in Agricultural Data Science at UGA, a unique program that aims to bridge the gap between the generation, analysis and interpretation of complex data in the agri-food sector.
Scherm previously served two three-year terms as the Assistant Dean for Research in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UGA. He earned an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Sciences from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of California-Davis. Following postdoctoral research at Iowa State University, he joined the Department of Plant Pathology at UGA in 1996.
Scherm’s academic training is in the area of botanical epidemiology, with a career-long interest in using data and models to understand and predict plant disease development and spread. For the past 15 years, he has collaborated with engineers at UGA and other institutions on projects and grant proposals related to the use of agricultural technologies in crop production and protection.
Dr. Ramaraja Ramasamy is a Professor in the School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering and the Senior Associate Dean in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. He has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and his research expertise is in the area of biological electrochemistry to chemical and biosensors, bio-solar cells, batteries, fuel cells and related systems.
Ramasamy has published over 200 journal and conference papers, delivered over 50 invited talks and has been awarded 7 patents. Some of his recent work is focused on developing electrochemical sensing methods for early and rapid diagnosis of plant diseases and food borne pathogens.