Kielsmeier-Cook and Case Awarded Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship

May 4, 2016

Plant Pathology Graduate Students Josh Kielsmeier-Cook and Austin Case were awarded the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF). This award is given to University of Minnesota Ph.D. candidates and provides them an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year.

Kielsmeier-Cook’s research focuses on studying fungal diversity in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador and investigates the ecological role of fungi in nutrient recycling. Read more and watch a video about Kielsmeier-Cook’s research in the research spotlight “An investigation of the diversity present within Xylaria and their ecological role in the Neotropics.”

Case’s research focuses on identifying new resistance genes in barley to protect modern varieties from African stem rust (Ug99), which threatens global wheat and barley production. Through his dissertation entitled “Characterization of stem rust resistance in barley,” Case aims to identify genetic resources valuable to breeding durable resistance to this pathogen in barley, and ensure food security by reducing yield losses due to stem rust.