Joseph Morton

Joseph Morton
  • Emeritus Professor


Emeritus professor of plant pathology, West Virginia University, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Design Curator of INVAM at WVU

I retired from WVU on March 15, 2017. In May, my wife (Sunnie) and I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. After 37 wonderful years at WVU, we decided that our retirement years should involve completely new and different adventures. I had grown up in Montana and Sunnie fell in love with the west during my PhD years there. We looked at retirement locations in the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Wyoming, California and Arizona. A close colleague, Robert (Oz) Auge, recommended that we look at northern New Mexico, and Santa Fe in particular. We visited the place in 2016, immediately recognized it as a great location from which we could travel to magnificent and exotic places in all directions. We purchased our future home on this first visit. So far we are quite happy with our decision. We have miles of trails and open space just outside our doorstep, and we take full advantage of them for long walks with and without our beloved dog, Archie. We have wonderful neighbors and lots of collegiality. We are having some exhilarating experiences in so many eclectic landscapes that we have quickly adapted to retired life. There is a lot that I miss, but compensated by so much that I don’t miss. We are happy and contented. We continue to look forward to the next hike or other great adventure, rarely looking back, and that is as it should be.

For most of 2017 and all of 2018 so far, operation of the culture collection was turned over completely to Mr. Bill Wheeler, who has been with the collection since 1990. He knows the fungi intimately; has developed very efficient methods to ensure longevity and productivity of fungal cultures. He has done an exemplary job, since no stock has been lost since I left, and we have even gained a few from donors; and he handles most requests himself. I couldn’t have left the collection in better hands!!

While I am no longer present to be directly involved in collection management and matters, I am still open to dialogue if anyone needs help that I can provide over the phone or via email. I maintain open communication with Mr. Wheeler and I welcome these interactions. So I am gone, but not out. I look forward to hearing from some of you on and off as time moves on; I would like to continue to help in any way that I can.