Ludden, 51, comes to UC Berkeley after 21 years at
the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of
Biochemistry. In the past three years, Ludden has served
as executive associate dean of the university's College
of Agricultural and Life Sciences.
"Paul Ludden brings a very, very strong scientific
reputation to the job, bringing his considerable expertise
in the biological sciences to the arenas of natural
resources and environmental sciences. He is exceptionally
well poised to create a compelling vision for the College
of Natural Resources," said Berdahl.
Ludden is known for his expertise in microbial and
plant biochemistry, particularly the role of enzymes
in biological nitrogen fixation. His studies help illuminate
the role of catalysts in converting nitrogen gas into
soil-enriching ammonium. Such research, while basic,
helps lay the groundwork for advances in the development
of non-polluting nutrients, noted Ludden.
"I am very excited to be joining the College of Natural
Resources at UC Berkeley," said Ludden. "The broad range
of expertise here - from plant genomics to forest ecology
to agricultural economics - is impressive. The college
is extremely well-poised to address the wide spectrum
of today's important questions surrounding the management
of our natural resources."
Ludden's many awards and honors include a National
Institute of Health Merit Award and an honorary doctorate
from Stockholm University in Sweden. In 2000, he was
inducted to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences.
He is a member of numerous prestigious national committees
and professional societies, and has served on many national
editorial boards and grant review panels.
Born and raised in Nebraska, Ludden earned his bachelor's
degree in chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
and his doctorate in biochemistry at the University
In the 1980s, Ludden ventured out of America's heartland
to gain professional experience abroad. In 1982, he
taught microbial biochemistry at the University of Concepción
in Chile and, in 1985, he spent a month as a visiting
professor teaching a course on nitrogen fixation at
the Beijing Agricultural University in China.
Ludden replaces Richard Malkin, who has been serving
a two-year post as interim dean of the College of Natural
Resources. Malkin, who continues as a professor in the
Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, will take a
one-year sabbatical after stepping down as dean on June