Dr. Scott Lowman joined IALR in 2014 and was named Vice President of Applied Research in 2022. Prior to joining IALR, Lowman worked in the pharmaceutical industry and, in 2003, co-founded Lynchburg Grows, a non-profit urban farm and job training center in Lynchburg, Va. As a trained molecular biologist, Lowman has championed work in biotechnology and robotic imaging to improve agricultural productivity and sustainability. In 2020, Lowman teamed with Virginia Tech to launch the Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center on IALR’s campus. The center, along with the Applied Research Division at IALR, focuses on supporting industry, governmental, and academic partners to help drive economic transformation in the Southern Virginia Region.
Lowman supports this mission in his civic life as well, serving on the Town Council of Altavista, as President of Altavista on Track, and as a member of Altavista’s Economic Development Authority. In recognition of his work, Lowman was named a 2017 Outstanding Recent Graduate Alumnus at Virginia Tech and was presented the Commonwealth Environmental Leadership Award from the Waldorf Foundation. Lowman earned his bachelor’s degree in biology with Honors from Virginia Tech, his master’s in biology from the College of William and Mary, and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.
- Molecular biology – Genetic engineering of plants and bacteria, RT PCR, PCR, bioinformatics, enzyme assays and DNA Sequencing
- Plant biology – Plant tissue culture, bacterial inoculations, greenhouse and field trials, CO2/photosynthesis data collection
- Microbiology – Isolation and manipulation of environmental isolates, beneficial plant-microbe interactions, plant pathogen studies
- Digital phenotyping – Plant image analysis, robotic table and drone image acquisition, multispectral and thermal data analysis
- Greenhouse management – Environmental controls and irrigation management, integrated pest management, and greenhouse vegetable production
- Hydroponics – Ebb-flow, Nutrient film technique (NFT), deep water culture, and hybrid plant /system design and development