Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Ashli Brown has been named associate vice president of Mississippi State University’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.
Brown will begin July 16 in her new role, helping to advance MSU’s national reputation as a leader in agriculture and natural resource teaching, research and service. The National Science Foundation ranks MSU in the Top 5 percent nationally for agricultural research.
Brown has served since 2013 as Mississippi’s State Chemist and since January 2021 as interim head of MSU’s Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion. She also serves as a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.
Much of Brown’s research focuses on the use of analytical techniques to improve conservation efforts, food safety and regulatory science. While at MSU, she has obtained over $10 million in funding from federal, state and industry sources to develop and support a research group, as well as help fund the mission of the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory.
Keith Coble, vice president for the university’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine, said Brown is respected as an “exceptional scientist who works well with people at the university and with our clientele.”
“I believe Dr. Brown is a leader who can help guide the division to greater success and service in coming years,” said Coble, a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor.
DAFVM units include the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Forest Resources, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Forest and Wildlife Research Center, and the MSU Extension Service. These six units function on the university’s main campus and through four research and extension centers, 16 branch stations and locations, in addition to MSU Extension offices in all 82 counties of Mississippi.
Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and Ph.D. in chemistry/biochemistry from the University of South Florida, where she completed postdoctoral work in biochemistry. She also completed postdoctoral work in chemistry/entomology at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service location in Stoneville.
Darrell Sparks will serve as Interim State Chemist and director of the Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, pending confirmation from the Mississippi Senate and following Brown’s move into the associate vice president role. Sparks currently serves as Associate State Chemist and is an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.