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Paul LUdden Named CALS Executive Associate Dean

Biochemist Paul W. Ludden has been named executive associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Paul Ludden brings an excellent knowledge of the UW-Madison and the College from his service on numerous important faculty and administrative committees including the Faculty Senate, the University Academic Planning Council, the CALS Academic Planning Council and the College”s Futures Planning Committee,” said CALS Dean Elton Aberle in announcing the appointment. “For the last five years, he has been assistant chair of the Department of Biochemistry.”

Ludden”s responsibilities include working with CALS departments and programs in filling faculty and staff positions, and coordinating the CALS budget-building process, according to Aberle.

“CALS is a unique and complex blend of basic and applied aspects of the biological, agricultural, physical and social sciences,” Ludden said. “The College has contributed significantly to the solution of real world problems for the state of Wisconsin while providing a first-rate education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. I look forward to working with the students, faculty and staff of the College to maintain the strengths of CALS while we develop and adapt to an ever-changing educational environment.”

A faculty member of the Department of Biochemistry since 1981, Ludden has taught classes on plant biochemistry and biochemical mechanisms of regulation as well as participating in Biocore, the UW Madison”s core curriculum for undergraduate biology majors. His research focuses on enzymes involved in biological nitrogen fixation, in which nitrogen gas from air is converted into ammonium to enrich soil. In another project, Ludden and his students have studied how certain soil bacteria are able to detoxify and grow on carbon monoxide.

Ludden believes knowledge gained from understanding how bacteria perform these extraordinary feats will one day be important in agriculture and recycling of gaseous pollutants such as carbon monoxide.

A Nebraska native, Ludden received his bachelor”s degree in chemistry from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the UW-Madison in 1977. Ludden spent a year at Michigan State University doing post-doctoral research on plant cell culture and two years on the biochemistry faculty at the University of California-Riverside before returning to the UW-Madison.

Ludden replaces Douglas Maxwell, who served as interim executive associate dean for almost 18 months and will return to the Department of Plant Pathology. To help in the leadership transition, Maxwell will continue as an interim associate dean on a one-quarter time appointment through June 30.