Phillip E. Pope received his B.S. degree from the University of Richmond and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University . Following post-doctoral study at the University of Florida and two years on the faculty at the University of Arkansas , he joined the Department in 1977. His early research focused on the effects of soil management and seedling nutrition on forest plantation establishment. Projects included the establishment of fast growing bio-energy plantations, reforestation of reclaimed surface mined lands in Indiana , and influence of soil compaction on root growth and seedling survival. Subsequent studies included the relationships among soil physical and chemical properties and the effects of mycorrhizal forming fungi and nitrogen-fixing bacteria on nutrient uptake and growth of fine hardwoods. These research findings lead to studies on fine root growth and nutrient uptake dynamics of selected tree species and natural hardwood stands. Along with his role as professor Phil was also Associate Dean of the Graduate School.