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.
Congratulations to our 2014 Kelman Scholars who presented posters of their research projects at the NCSU Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Talley Ballroom on July 30. Their research and presentations were truly professional, which speaks volumes to their abilities as young scientists and the mentorship that they received in their projects from faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students.
The North Carolina Tobacco Tour was held July 14-15. The tour began with a Welcome Dinner on Monday evening at the Fargo Cattle Company in Zebulon. A field tour followed on Tuesday morning at the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station in Rocky Mount. The tour is the combined effort Departments of Plant Pathology, Crop Science, Entomology, and Biological & Agricultural Engineering.
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!
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.