Michael Flessner has been appointed assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science and Extension specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Flessner is one of 19 faculty members that were recently hired in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. New positions were identified to bring new talent to its focus areas, including food and health, infectious disease, biodesign and processing, and agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.
Flessner received his Ph.D. in crop, soil, and environmental sciences, and his master's degree in agronomy, from Auburn University, and his bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee in plant sciences.
His research program focuses on solving weed management challenges currently facing the commonwealth, with an emphasis placed on sustainable and economic solutions. Specifically, Flessner is interested in combating herbicide resistance in various forms, including the use of high-residue cover crops. Flessner's other research initiatives include evaluation of cover crops for weediness in subsequent cash crops and performing evaluations of new herbicides and weed management technologies.
Flessner’s program provides statewide leadership via Extension in the development and dissemination of weed management best practices for agronomic crops and pasture/forage, with an emphasis on current challenges, such as management of herbicide-resistant weed species. Flessner develops publications, Web-based media, and presentations in conjunction with Extension in order to empower stakeholders through nonbiased, research-based information.