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Advisory Board Bio: Dr. John D. Kirby

John KirbyDr. John D. Kirby, oversees the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) at the University of Rhode Island (URI). With a community of over 100 faculty members and 2,200 total students, CELS offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the following areas: Biological Sciences; Cell & Molecular Biology; Environmental & Natural Resource Economics; Fisheries, Animal & Veterinary Science; Geosciences; Marine Affairs; Natural Resources Science; and Plan Sciences & Entomology. As dean, Dr. Kirby has been credited with enhancing the College’s commitment to diversity in the student body and on the faculty and staff, as well as reinvigorating the College’s focus on agriculture by adding a new Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems undergraduate and graduate degree program.

In addition to his duties as dean of CELS, Dr. Kirby also serves as the director of the Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension. Together, the Agricultural Experiment Station, an important research arm of the University, and Cooperative Extension, the outreach enterprise that translates university research to practice, are the cornerstones of the Land Grant programs of URI. Specifically, these entities focus on addressing challenges in agriculture, food production and processing, nutrition, natural resource policy, natural resource management, renewable energy, and climate change. These Land Grant programs are committed to engaging in cutting-edge research dedicated to resolving critical issues faced by Rhode Islanders and Americans.

Prior to his time at URI, Dr. Kirby served as the director of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and associate dean for research of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences at the South Dakota University. He also served as dean of Bumpers College of Agricultural Food and Life Sciences and director of the program in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Arkansas. Additionally, he has previously served as a contract observer at the National Marine Mammal Lab and worked on the Dall’s Porpoise Project in the North Pacific and Bering Sea.

He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Poultry Science at Oregon State University in 1990 and was a postdoctoral fellow with an emphasis on molecular biology of reproduction at Northwestern University. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Dr. Kirby has extensive teaching and research experience.