Prior to her National Science Liaison appointment, Dr. Mervalin Morant served as a National Program Leader (NPL) in the NIFA's Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition, from 2012 to 2019, and a Soils and Soil Ecology NPL in Natural Resources and Environment from 2003 to 2012. Dr. Morant provides leadership in research, education, and extension programs related to food science and food safety issues. Drawing on, her applied and basic plant pathology, and plant and soil science knowledge, she applies a multi-disciplinary, systems approach to address disease-related challenges in the food and agricultural sciences, from farm-to-fork.
Before joining USDA, Dr. Morant last served as the Interim Chair of the Department of Agriculture at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She received her Ph.D. in Botany and Plant Pathology from Purdue University and her BS and MS degrees in Plant and Soil Science from Tuskegee Institute. Dr. Morant was also a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Illinois in the Department of Plant Pathology, where she focused on understanding host-microbe interactions at the molecular level. Dr. Morant will represent NIFA regarding topics on Food Safety, Nutrition and Health, and Minority Serving Institutions.
Topic Expertise: Food Safety, Nutrition and Health; Plant Pathology; Minority Serving Institutions