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Biochemist Paul W. Ludden named new dean of UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources
03 June 2002

By Sarah Yang, Media Relations

Berkeley - Paul W. Ludden, a noted biochemist, is the new dean of the University of California, Berkeley's College of Natural Resources, Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl announced today (Monday, June 4).

  Paul Ludden
Paul Ludden

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 of Wisconsin-Madison.

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 30.