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Alan S. Walters

Alan Walters, Professor and Program Coordinator


Dr. Alan Walters is a Professor of Vegetable Science and Breeding in the School of Forestry and Horticulture at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. He is also a prestigious Fulbright Research Scholar.

He grew up in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in North Georgia and attended the University of Georgia, where he obtained a B.S.A in Agronomy (1986) and M.P.P.P.M. in Plant Pathology (1988). He then attended North Carolina State University and completed M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Horticultural Science in 1991 and 1997, respectively. He has been at Southern Illinois University since 1998 and is responsible for teaching several classes including Home Gardening, Commercial Vegetable Production, Crop Physiology, Organic Gardening, and Plants for the Ecological Landscape. His research activities have focused on many different applied cultural management issues in vegetable production, with more than 80 peer-reviewed publications resulting from this research. Most of his research has focused on areas such as pollination ecology of cucurbit vegetables, reduced tillage practices for vegetables, vermicomposts as alternative fertilizers, fertility management in vegetable crops, vegetable disease and weed management, local-sustainable vegetable production, and horseradish production and breeding. His successful research program has led to the education and training of more than 40 graduate students who have worked under his direction. Dr. Walters has also edited more than 250 professional manuscripts, written numerous book chapters, as well as a book on Home Gardening Practices, and has delivered well over 200 outreach or extension-type presentations over his career.

SIU Alan Walters

Office: Agriculture Building 178
Phone: 618-453-3446
Curriculum Vitae

Specialty / Interests:

Dr. Walters’ area of focus is applied aspects to improve vegetable production systems throughout the world (e.g., pest control, pollination systems, fertility and water management, to name a few). The applied research conducted is not only directly applicable for vegetable growers in Illinois but throughout the U.S. as well as in many other parts of the world. So, most of the research conducted is to help growers have a better understanding of how to produce vegetable crops more efficiently using sustainable production methods to obtain greater quality and yields. Although Dr. Walters focuses most of his research activities on pumpkins and horseradish, since these are two of the most important specialty crops grown in Illinois, he has experience working with a diversity of other vegetable crops, especially various cucurbit and solanaceous crops in semi-arid to arid locations in Africa, Asia, and South America.

Recent Publications and Awards:

  • U.S. State Dept. Fulbright Scholar, Brazil, 2021-2022
  • SIU COAS Elkins Excellence in Education Award, 2018
  • U.S. State Dept. Fulbright Scholar, Morocco, 2015-2017
  • SIU COAS Outstanding Researcher Award, 2016
  • SIU COAS Outstanding Team Research Award, 2016
  • SIU COAC Elkins Excellence in Education Award, 2012
  • SIU COAS Outstanding Researcher Award, 2006
  • Published more than 80 refereed publications in career and helped to bring in more than $5 million in grant monies to SIUC
  • Delivered more than 70 abstracts at national/international meetings and approximately 50 edited professional publications on original research during career.
  • Delivered well over 200 outreach or extension-type presentations for career with most presentations in Illinois or other Midwestern States.
  • INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES include a sabbatical in 2007 at the Agricultural University Athens; sabbatical in 2014 working with INRH; Afghanistan from 2008-2013 through a USAID project and USDA-FAS project; Austria since 2009 on activities in horseradish breeding research; Brazil since 2013 with focus on melon pollination services; Morocco since 2013 working with INRA primarily focused on climate change consequences to vegetable crops; and Costa Rica study-abroad class focused on Tropical Agriculture from 2014-2019.


  • Ph.D., 1997, North Carolina State University
    • Major: Horticultural Science
    • Minor: Plant Breeding/Genetics
  • M.P.P.P.M., 1988, University of Georgia
    • Major: Plant Pathology
  • M.S., 1991, North Carolina State University
    • Major: Horticultural Science
    • Minor: Plant Breeding/Genetics
  • B.S.A, 1986, University of Georgia
    • Major: Plant Science


  • HORT 238: Home Gardening
  • CSEM/PSAS 409: Crop Physiology and Ecology
  • HORT/PSAS 437: Commercial Vegetable Production
  • HORT 463 / PSAS 563: Plants for the Ecological Landscape
  • HORT 469: Organic Gardening