DIANA H. WALL
Diana (Freckman) Wall earned her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the University of Kentucky in 1970. Her Ph.D. research was on nematode interaction (Heterodera trifoli and Pratylenchus penetrans on clover, Trifolium repens). Her major professor was Dr. Richard Chapman, the Nematologist at Lexington.
Diana was teaching biology in the Julius T. Wright High School for girls in Mobile, Alabama when her then husband, John Freckman was transferred to the United States Coast Guard Station at the Los Angeles International Airport (Los Angeles, CA). In 1972, she contacted a friend at UC Berkeley who told her that Dr. Ron Mankau at UCR might be interested in a postdoctoral scientist to assist in a grant-funded research project. Mankau hired her and she came to the Nematology Department in June 1972 when S.A. Sher was chairperson. She was appointed a Postgraduate Research Nematologist. That was the start of a most interesting and productive career during her 17-year association with the Department of Nematology at UC Riverside. She was not recruited by the department but rather was a soft money scientist for most of her career in that department.
Diana was an enthusiastic member of the department and working with faculty members did much to support graduate student training. In 1975 she obtained a lecturer’s position at California State University, Fresno and was there during the 1975-76 academic year. She was an effective teacher and impressed the administration to the point that they offered her a tenure-track position. She declined and during this period submitted grant applications that would continue to support her position as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at UC Riverside. She obtained a grant from the U.S. Man and the Biosphere (U.S. MAB). A grant submitted to NSF was not funded. She traveled to Washington, D.C. to visit NSF to find out why the grant failed and learned a great deal about the whole process. Later the NSF grant was funded and during her academic career, she was extremely successful in obtaining NSF grant support for her salary and research.
From 1976 to 1990 she was a non-tenure track scientist at UCR (Research Nematologist, 1976-1984); Associate Research Nematologist, 1984-1990). For six months (October 1993 – March 1984), while President of the Society of Nematologists, she worked on her research at North Carolina State University at Raleigh as a visiting research scientist in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology.
From September 1998 to September 1989 she was Associate Program Director, Ecology Program, Division of Environmental Biology, National Science Foundation, in Washington, D.C. In July 1990, she was appointed to a tenure-track position, Associate Professor at UC Riverside. In 1993, she was appointed Full Professor. However, at this same time she was offered and accepted the following positions at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO: Professor, Rangeland Ecosystem Science; Director, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory; and Associate Dean for Research, College of Natural Resources. She served in these three positions from 1993 to 2000 when she resigned as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Natural Resources.
During her tenure as Director of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Diana Wall has conducted extensive research on nematodes and soil food webs of the dry valleys of Antarctica.
During her distinguished career Diana Wall has been President of the American Institute for Biological Science (AIBS) in 1992 and the Ecological Society of America (ESA) in 1999-2000.
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