RENO, Nev.—There is a new dean at the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.

William Payne assumed his new role on Friday. He was selected after a national search and replaces acting dean Ron Pardini.

The Reno Gazette-Journal ( http://on.rgj.com/MyYmTs) reports Payne comes to Nevada from Texas A&M University. He was a professor of crop physiology and director of a multi-institutional, $150-million research project to improve food security and livelihoods in arid areas of the world.

As dean, Payne also will oversee the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station, which conducts basic and applied research and programs to enhance the sustainability of Nevada's agriculture industry.

The program has eight field laboratories around the state.