Marc Cubeta was recently elected as a Fellow of the Mycological Society of America (MSA). MSA Fellows are members who are outstanding mycologists on the basis of a solid record of mycological research, successful teaching and development of teaching materials for mycology, and significant service to the Society. This award is meant to recognize a core group of mid-career mycological achievers and outstanding MSA volunteers.
Congratulations to Will Sharpee on winning best poster at the Gordon Conference on Cellular and Molecular Fungal Biology. The conference, held from June 15-20 in Holderness, NH, is one of the premier venues for presenting cutting edge research. Nice job, Will!
The Department of Plant Pathology officially signed the Syngenta Crop Protection Plant Pathology Graduate Fellowship on Monday, April 21st. Along with CALS Administration, representatives from Syngenta, including David Laird (Head of Product Biology for North America) and Tyler Harp (Product Biology Lead, Fungicides), were in attendance. This fellowship provides complete support of a graduate student fellow for three years. The Plant Pathology Department has already selected a master’s student for the Syngenta Fellowship for Fall 2014. A thesis research project of mutual interest to NCSU and Syngenta has been designed to be implemented under the direction of a Plant Pathology faculty mentor.
Dr. Jean Ristaino was principal investigator and Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin was co-principal investigator for the recent collaborative conference “Emerging Infectious Plant Diseases of Africa in the Context of Ecosystem Services.” The international conference took place April 8 to 12 at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy. Attending were 19 participants who worked to develop a strategy to mitigate impacts of emerging plant diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ristaino and Hanley-Bowdoin are faculty members in N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Ristaino is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the CALS Department of Plant Pathology. Hanley-Bowdoin is a William Neal Reynolds Professor of biochemistry in the Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry.
Felipe earned his Ph.D. in 1990 in Plant Pathology under the direction of Dr. Turner Sutton. Some in the media have made much of the number of lawyers in the new administration of Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera. But current and past professors outnumber the lawyers two to one in the top spots. | http://bit.ly/R89yZL
An analysis of the biographies of ministers-designate, vice presidents-elect and two ambassador-designates appointed by the president-elect show a preference for academics. President-elect Solís himself is a former professor and Fulbright scholar. | http://www.amcostarica.com/043014.htm#32
Kestrel McCorkle, a NCSU Plant Pathology PhD student, was awarded a CALS Outstanding Teaching Award for 2014. As a recipient of this award, Kestrel was awarded a plaque and a check for $1000 for her contributions to teaching with the Department of Plant Pathology. Kestrel was also honored at the Celebration of Teaching Banquet in Riddick Hall Hearth on April 24th.
Graduate students in the Department of Plant Pathology have an active outreach group. In addition to participating in large outreach events like Bugfest and Triangle SciTech Expo at the Museum of Natural Sciences, they also visit local high schools to spread the word about how plant pathologists use biotechnology to manage plant pests. On April 4, 2014 they visited three of Mrs. Eckenrod’s sophomore biology classes at Princeton High School in Eastern North Carolina. Students performed DNA extractions from strawberry tissue, looked at fungal spores under a microscope, learned the basics of fungal isolation and culture maintenance, and learned how to transform geranium plants with agrobacterium. This outreach program aims to teach and inform the general public about plant pathology and current issues in world food production.
Not one, but two promising students have been awarded a 2014 Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship. The merit-based scholarship honors the late floriculture pioneer and is awarded to M.S. or Ph.D. students who are on track to become exceptional researchers or educators.
Ecke recipient Emma Lookabaugh, a doctoral student at NCSU, has extensive experience in floriculture extension work and outreach activities, including more than five years experience at a diagnostic clinic. Her doctoral research focuses on Pythium and aims to combine sound floriculture research with disease management strategies.
Casey Ruark, a PhD student in the Department of Plant Pathology, was named as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow for 2014. The award includes three years of support for stipend as well as cost-of-education expenses. Casey’s proposed research topic is titled “Utilizing viruses within soybean cyst nematodes (Heterodera glycines) as a potential avenue for biocontrol”. In the United States as well as many other top soybean producing countries, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) is the most destructive pathogen to soybean crops. This damage is glaringly evident in North Carolina where an estimated sixty-percent of soybean acreage is infected with SCN resulting in annual yield losses of four to eight-percent. Casey’s research emphasis is in examining whether North Carolina field populations of SCN harbor viruses, and if these viruses result in a phenotypic change in the nematode that can be exploited as an environmentally safe biocontrol of SCN.
Each year the American Association for the Advancement of Science Council elects members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.” The honor of being elected a Fellow of AAAS began in 1874 and is acknowledged with a certificate and rosette. Dr. David Ritchie is being honored for significant contribution to the field of plant pathology, particularly for increasing our knowledge of bacterial pathogen ecology and evolution, leading to improved disease management.
Election as a Fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers. Fellows are recognized for meritous efforts to advance science or its applications.