Lucky Mehra, a PhD student with Drs. Peter Ojiambo and Christina Cowger, spoke to about 100 visitors to the Northeast Ag Expo in Tyner, NC. Lucky explained the life cycle of Stagonospora nodorum, a widespread fungal pathogen that causes a sometimes damaging leaf and glume blotch of wheat. He also described best management practices and his research on factors that determine epidemic severity.
Jean Ristaino (third from right) served as a senior science advisor and Jefferson Fellow in the Bureau of Food Security, Office of Agriculture Research and Policy (BFS/ARP). She worked on a portfolio of issues including human and institutional capacity development in Feed the Future countries. She helped launch the Borlaug Higher Education Agriculture Research Development Program and conducted a country- wide needs assessment of agricultural research capacity in Bangladesh. She worked with the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) on human and institutional capacity development and implementation of BIFADS’s review of the Cooperative Research Support Program (CRSP). She conducted an analysis of the plant disease research portfolio in BFS/ARP and served as a technical point of contact on the emerging coffee rust outbreaks in Central America. She prepared an Agri-Links session on Emerging Plant Diseases: Tackling Global Challenges (http://agrilinks.org/blog/emerging-plant-diseases-tackling-global-challenges ) and has been asked to blog on her Jefferson Fellow year. She has been funded by the Keck Foundation and the Bellagio Conference Center to organize a meeting on ecosystem services and emerging plant diseases in Africa and has developed a network of US research scientists that plan to serve as mentors for the African Women interested in pursuing PhD’s in agriculture.