Prof. Frank Drummond Named 2018 Distinguished Maine Professor

Dr. Francis “Frank” Drummond is widely recognized as the personification of the University of Maine’s land-grant mission.

Frank, a professor in the university’s School of Biology and Ecology and a faculty member with Cooperative Extension, is a gifted teacher and an internationally respected scholar. Faculty and students alike cite his enthusiasm for his teaching and research, his depth of knowledge of subject matters, and his ability to explain complex concepts.

Frank has many fans in UMaine’s undergraduate and graduate communities. They say he is always willing and able to help them and is particularly adept at incorporating scientific concepts with real-world applications.

Those qualities also reflect his approach to consumer and industry outreach–a key element of UMaine’s mission of teaching, research, and public service. Frank is one of the world’s foremost authorities on native pollinators, a topic of great importance to northeast fruit and vegetable croplands. Frank has been directing Maine’s efforts to ensure sustainable pollination to support the state’s wild blueberry industry, a major contributor to the state’s economy.

Frank says his current research is focused on four topics, all of significant relevance to Maine’s economy: the ecology and population genetics of wild blueberry plants; factors that affect plant pollination; blueberry plant production; and the ecological and physiological effects that herbivores have on fruit production.

Through his teaching, research, and public service, Frank has been instrumental as a resource to farmers, hobby beekeepers, environmental advocates, and policy makers. His research on wild blueberry insect pests has resulted in recommendations that have saved growers money, increased yields, improved the quality of the fruit, and made Maine wild blueberries more competitive in the global market.

As Distinguished Maine Professor, Frank had the honor of addressing graduating students during UMaine’s 2018 Commencement ceremonies on May 12.