West Virginia State Coordinator
Barbara Liedl coordinated the SARE program at West Virginia State University from 2003-2005 and rejoined SARE as the WVSU coordinator in 2009. She joined West Virginia State University in August of 2001 where she taught in the Biology Department and performed field and greenhouse research trials with effluent from thermophilic anaerobic digestion of poultry litter. In 2003, Barbara became the first full- time research scientist at WVSU and she currently holds the title of Associate Research Professor. She and her research team work on breeding greenhouse tomatoes, developing markers for ornamental breeding, hydroponic and cut flower production, and organic/sustainable farming. In addition, Barbara works with the WVSU Extension Service to deliver workshops and trainings on cut flowers, small fruit and vegetable production and hydroponics.
Barbara was born and raised in West Lafayette, Indiana, except for the year she spent as an exchange student in New Zealand. Purdue University is where she obtained her bachelor's degree in Horticulture and had her first professional "hoeing" job with the vegetable weed research team. Next, she completed her MS degree in Plant Breeding and PhD degree in Horticulture at the University of Minnesota, working on potato genetics. Her post-doctoral work at Cornell University was with a team that was developing insect and disease resistant field tomato varieties and researching sexual barriers between cultivated and wild tomato species. These days, her research program operates twelve months a year with WVSU greenhouse and field experiments, as well as research trials she conducts in cooperation with several other regional universities.