Photo of Executive Dean Robert M. Goodman. Dr. Robert M. Goodman, a plant biologist and virologist by training, is an expert on soil microorganisms and plant disease. Since 2005, he has served as Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Rutgers University, leading both the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

He studied at the Johns Hopkins University and then transferred to Cornell University, where he earned a B.S. degree in Plant Sciences in 1967. After two years of civilian service, he completed a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at Cornell University in 1973. He was awarded a NATO postdoctoral fellowship by the National Science Foundation for study in molecular virology at the John Innes Institute in Norwich, England. In 1974, he was appointed Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and later promoted to Associate Professor in 1978 and Professor in 1981.

In 1982, Goodman was named Vice President, and thereafter Executive Vice President, for Research and Development at Calgene, Inc., an early plant biotechnology company and one of the pioneers in the genetic engineering of crop species, notably pesticide resistance and the use of anti-sense RNA to modify crop traits.

From 1991 to 2005, he was a professor of plant pathology and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his laboratory carried out pioneering work on the diversity of soil microorganisms refractory to cultivation and co-developed the approach for microbial biology studies now widely called metagenomics.

He is widely published in scientific journals such as Science, Nature, Virology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on topics including soil metagenomics, the discovery of the geminiviruses, and characterization of unexpected Archeal and Eubacterial clades in soil.

Goodman has served in several senior leadership positions, including the Board of Trustees of the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT), founder and chair of the McKnight Foundation's Collaborative Crop Research Program, and chair of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources section of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS).

He is an elected Fellow of the AAAS and of the American Academy of Microbiology


School Program Degree Years
John Innes Institute, UK Plant Virology Postdoctoral Fellow 1973-1974
Cornell University Plant Pathology Ph.D. 1973
Cornell University Plant Sciences B.Sc. 1967
The Johns Hopkins University     1963-1965


Title Institution Years
Executive Dean and Distinguished Professor Rutgers University 2005-
Chair, Major in Molecular Biology University of Wisconsin-Madison 1994-2005
Co-chair, Biology Major University of Wisconsin-Madison 1999-2001
Professor University of Wisconsin-Madison 1991-2005
Senior Scholar-In-Residence National Research Council/NAS 1990-1991
Visiting Professor University of Wisconsin-Madison 1990-1991
Executive Vice President, R&D Calgene, Inc., Davis, CA 1982-1990
Professor University of Illinois-Urbana 1981-1982
Associate Professor University of Illinois-Urbana 1978-1981
Assistant Professor University of Illinois-Urbana 1974-1978


Selected Current Professional Activities


Note: Total number of publications since 1967 in refereed journals is 105.

Key Publications, 1977-1999

All Publications, 2000-Present

  1. Rondon, M. R., P. R. August, A. D. Bettermann, S. F. Brady, T. H. Grossman, M. R. Liles, K. A. Loiacono, B. A. Lynch, I. A. MacNeil, C. Minor, C. L. Tiong, M. Gilman, M. S. Osburne, J. Clardy, J. Handelsman, and R. M. Goodman. 2000. Cloning the soil metagenome: A strategy for accessing the genetic and functional diversity of uncultured microorganisms. (PDF) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66:2541-2547.
  2. Simon, H. M., J. Dodsworth, and R. M. Goodman. 2000. Crenarcheota colonize terrestrial plant roots. Environ. Microbiol. 2:495-505.
  3. Kazmar, E. R., R. M. Goodman, C. R. Grau, D. W. Johnson, E. V. Nordheim, D. J. Undersander, and J. Handelsman. 2000. Regression analyses for evaluating the influence of Bacillus cereus on alfalfa yield under variable disease intensity. (PDF) Phytopathology 90:657-665.
  4. Broderick, N. A., R. M. Goodman, K. F. Raffa, and J. Handelsman. 2000. Synergy between zwittermicin A and Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki against gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae). (PDF) Environ. Entomol. 29:101-107.
  5. Simon, H. M., K. P. Smith, J. A. Dodsworth, B. Guenthner, J. Handelsman, and R. M. Goodman. 2001. Influence of tomato genotype on growth of inoculated and indigenous bacteria in the spermosphere. (PDF) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:514-520.
  6. Nelson, B. P., T. E. Grimsrud, M. R. Liles, R. M. Goodman, and R. M. Corn. 2001. Surface plasmon resonance imaging measurements of DNA and RNA hybridization adsorption onto DNA microarrays. (PDF) Anal. Chem. 73:1-7.
  7. Dasgupta, R., B. H. Garcia II, and R. M. Goodman. 2001. Systemic spread of an RNA insect virus in plants expressing plant viral movement protein genes. (PDF) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98:4910-4915.
  8. Song, F., and R. M. Goodman. 2001. Molecular biology of disease resistance in rice. (PDF) Physiol. Molec. Plant Pathol. 59:1-11.
  9. Song, F., and R. M. Goodman. 2001. Activity of nitric oxide is dependent on, but is partially required for function of salicylic acid in the signaling pathway in tobacco systemic acquired resistance. (PDF) Molec. Plant Microbe Interact. 14:1458-1462.
  10. Song, F., and R. M. Goodman. 2002. OsBIMK1, a rice MAP kinase gene involved in disease resistance responses. (PDF) Planta 215:997-1005.
  11. Song, F., and R. M. Goodman. 2002. Molecular cloning and characterization of a rice phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C gene, OsPI-PLC1, that is activated in systemic acquired resistance. (PDF) Physiol. Molec. Plant Pathol. 61:31-40.
  12. Song, F., and R. M. Goodman. 2002. Cloning and identification of the promoter of the tobacco Sar8.2b gene, a gene involved in systemic acquired resistance. (PDF) Gene 290:115-124.
  13. Gillespie, D. E., S. F. Brady, A. D. Bettermann, N. P. Cianciotto, M. R. Liles, M. R. Rondon, J. Clardy, R. M. Goodman, and J. Handelsman. 2002. Isolation of antibiotics turbomycin A and B from a metagenomic library of soil microbial DNA. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (PDF) 68:4301-4306.
  14. Nelson, B. P., M. R. Liles, K. B. Frederick, R. M. Corn, and R. M. Goodman. 2002. Label-free detection of 16S ribosomal RNA hybridization on reusable DNA arrays using surface plasmon resonance imaging. (PDF) Environ. Microbiol. 4:735-743.
  15. Broderick, N. R., R. M. Goodman, J. Handelsman, and K. F. Raffa. 2003. Effect of host diet and insect source on synergy of gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) mortality to Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki by zwittermicin A. (PDF) Environ. Entomol. 32:387-391.
  16. Kapuscinski, A. R., R. M. Goodman, S. D. Hann, L. R. Jacobs, E. E. Pullins, C. S. Johnson, J. D. Kinsey, R. L. Krall, A. G.M. La Viña, M. G. Mellon, and V. W. Ruttan. 2003. Making "Safety First" a reality for biotechnology products. (PDF) Nature Biotechnol. 21:599-601.
  17. Liles, M. R., B. F. Manske, S. B. Bintrim, J. Handelsman and R. M. Goodman. 2003. A census of rRNA genes and linked genomic sequences within a soil metagenomic library. (PDF) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69:2684-2691.
  18. Stone, A. G., G. E. Vallad, L. R. Cooperband, D. Rotenberg, H. R. Darby, R. V. James, W. Stevenson, and R. M. Goodman. 2003. The effects of organic amendments on soil-borne and foliar diseases in a field vegetable rotation. (PDF) Plant Disease 87:1037-1042.
  19. Broderick, N. A., K. F. Raffa, R. M. Goodman, and J. Handelsman. 2004. Census of the bacterial community of the gypsy moth larval midgut by using culturing and culture-independent methods. (PDF) Appl. Envir. Microbiol. 70:293-300.
  20. Vallad, G. E., L. Cooperband, and R. M. Goodman. 2004. Plant foliar disease suppression mediated by composted forms of paper mill residuals exhibits molecular features of induced resistance. (PDF) Physiol. Molec. Plant Pathol. 63:65-77.
  21. Sliwinski, M. K., and R. M. Goodman. 2004. Spatial heterogeneity of crenarchaeal assemblages within mesophilic soil ecosystems revealed by PCR-single stranded conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) profiling. (PDF) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:1811-1820.
  22. Sliwinski, M. K., and R. M. Goodman. 2004. Comparison of the crenarchaeal consortia inhabiting the rhizosphere of diverse terrestrial plants with those in bulk soil in native environments. (PDF) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70:1821-1826.
  23. Naylor, R. L., W. P. Falcon , R. M. Goodman, M. M. Jahn, T. Sengooba, H. Tefera, and R. J. Nelson. 2004. Biotechnology in the developing world: A case for increased investments in orphan crops. Food Policy 29:15-44.
  24. Riesenfeld, C. S., R. M. Goodman, and J. Handelsman. 2004. Uncultured soil bacteria are a reservoir of new antibiotic resistance genes. (PDF) Environ. Microbiol. 6:981-989.
  25. Vallad, G. E, and R. M. Goodman. 2004. Systemic acquired resistance and induced systemic resistance in conventional agriculture. (PDF) Crop Sci. 44:1920-1934.
  26. Simon, H. M., C. E. Jahn, L. T. Bergerud, M. K. Sliwinski, P. J. Weimer, D. K. Willis, and R. M. Goodman. 2005. Cultivation of mesophilic soil crenarchaeotes in enrichment cultures from plant roots. (PDF) Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 71:4751-4760.
  27. Luo, H., F. Song, R. M. Goodman, Z. Zheng. 2005. Up-Regulation of OsBIHD1, a rice gene encoding BELL homeodomain transcriptional factor, in disease resistance responses. (PDF) Plant Biology 7:459-468.
  28. Cao, Y., F. Song, R. M. Goodman, Z. Zheng. 2006. Molecular characterization of four rice genes encoding ethylene-responsive transcriptional factors and their expressions in response to biotic and abiotic stress. Journal of Plant Physiology 163:1167-1178.
  29. Sabree, Z. L., V. Bergendahl, M. R. Liles, R. R. Burgess, R. M. Goodman, and J. Handelsman. 2006. Identification and characterization of the gene encoding the Acidobacterium capsulatum major sigma factor. (PDF) Gene 376:144-151.
  30. Mentzer, J.L., R. M. Goodman, and T. C. Balser. 2006. Microbial response over time to hydrologic and fertilization treatments in a simulated wet prairie. Plant and Soil 284:85-100.
  31. Garcia, II, B. H., and R. M. Goodman. 2007. Use of surface plasmon resonance imaging to study viral RNA:protein interactions. Journal of Virological Methods 147:18-25.
  32. Liles, M. R., L. L. Williamson, J. Rodbumrer, V. Torsvik, R. M. Goodman, and J. Handelsman. 2008. Recovery, purification and cloning of high molecular weight DNA from soil microorganisms. Appl. Environ. Microbiology 74: 3302-3305.
  33. George, I., M. R. Liles, M. Hartmann, W. Ludwig, R. M. Goodman, and S. Agathos. 2009. Changes in soil Acidobacteria communities after 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene contamination. (PDF) Federation of European Microbiological Societies 296: 159-166.
  34. Liles, M. R., L. L. Williamson, J. Rodbumrer, V. Torsvik, L. C. Parsley, R. M. Goodman, and J. Handelsman. Recovery, purification and cloning of high molecular weight DNA from soil microorganisms. Cold Spring Harbor Press In Press.
  35. Kerkhof, L. J. and R. M. Goodman. Ocean microbial metagenomics (PDF). 2009. Deep-Sea Research II 56:1824-1829.
  36. Liles, M. R., O. Turkmen, B. Manske, M. Zhang, J. Rouillard, I. George, T. Balser, N. Billor and R. M. Goodman. A phylogenetic microarray targeting 16S rRNA genes from the bacterial division Acidobacteria reveals a lineage-specific distribution in a soil clay fraction. 2010 Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 42:739-747.
  37. Pinto-Tomás, A. A., A. Sittenfeld, L. Uribe-Lorío, F. Chavarría, M. Mora, D. H. Janzen, R. M. Goodman, and H. M. Simon. Comparison of Midgut Bacterial Diversity in Tropical Caterpillars (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae) Fed on Different Diets. 2011 Environ. Entomol. 40(5):1111-1122.

Books and Chapters in Books, 2000-Present