News Release

UTIA Professor emeritus Mark Windham recognized for role in rose education

Awarded the Klima Medal for Excellence by the American Rose Society

Grant and Award Announcement

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Mark Windham at the UT Plateau AgResearch and Education Center rose trials

image: Mark Windham, professor emeritus of plant pathology with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, examines some of his rose rosette research plots at the University of Tennessee Plateau AgResearch and Education Center. view more 

Credit: Photo by H. Harbin, courtesy UTIA.

His love of roses has never smelled so sweet. Mark Windham, professor emeritus of plant pathology with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, was awarded the Joseph and Marion Klima Medal for Excellence in Rose Education by the American Rose Society.

The award recognizes Windham’s research in the field of ornamental plant pathology, his contributions to the American Rose Magazine and his national outreach to rosarians on the topics of plant health, disease prevention, pest control and more. Throughout his 30-year career, Windham has presented more than 150 rose talks at ARS conventions and district meetings and to local rose societies. Windham, along with Alan Windham, also from University of Tennessee, and Alan Henn from Mississippi State University, authored the 2018 e-book, A Guide to Rose Diseases and their Management (

“I am honored. I would also like to thank Sara Collins, a research associate within the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, as she was instrumental to the success of the resistance work,” said Windham.

The Celebration Awards Banquet, which took place during 2023 American Rose Society National Convention in Shreveport, Louisiana, in May was attended by more than 300 guests. At the banquet, Windham also gave an address on “A SWOT Analysis of Current Rose Education Activities and Its Implications for the Future of ARS.”

Though retired from the University of Tennessee, Windham continues his labors to study the beloved plant and diseases that affect it. He currently has more than 3,000 roses planted for research and education purposes as well as an active laboratory at the UT Plateau AgResearch and Education Center in Crossville, Tennessee.

Considered by many as the country's leading authority on rose rosette disease, Windham is also a co-principal investigator of a $4.3 million USDA NIFA SCRI grant for developing sustainable roses. He has two public demonstration plots that were planted in 2023, one featuring roses identified as being resistant to rose rosette virus (RRV) and a second featuring the effectiveness of miticide and antiviral sprays for reducing the impact of RRV.

ARS is a community that promotes the culture and preservation of the Rose. To learn more about ARS, visit

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.