Departmental News

It had been 45 years since the International Congress of Plant Pathology had been held in the United States. The meeting in 2018 in Boston with the annual APS meeting attracted over 2,400 people, about 1,000 more than usually attend an APS meeting. The University of Minnesota was well represented with 13 faculty, five graduate students, two staff members and two postdoctoral scientists attending. Learn more about departmental participation at the 2018 ICPP conference in this roundup. Read more >>

The IPM Podcast for Field Crops, sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program featured the Plant Disease Clinic in this episode. Director of the Plant Disease Clinic Brett Arenz discussed the clinic’s operations, sample preparation and disease diagnosis. Listen >>

The department had a strong showing at the North Central American Phytopathological Society (NCAPS) meeting in Fargo, ND June 12-14. Read more >>

Alumnus Austin Case (Ph.D. 2017) will begin a new position as a barley breeder for Anheuser-Busch, focusing on spring and winter two-rowed malting barley for North America. The position will be based in Fort Collins, CO and will specifically focus on breeding for malting quality, disease resistance, and winter hardiness.

Michelle Grabowski, Bob Blanchette and Nevin Young visited a rare and beautiful American chestnut tree in St. Anthony Park near the St. Paul Campus. While nearly all American chestnuts were wiped out by Cryphonectria parasitica, the fungus that causes chestnut blight, in the first half of the 20th Century, it seems the 20-30 years old tree has done comparatively well despite symptoms of blight. Read more >>

Recently Bob Blanchette was at the University of Florida for a Ph.D. dissertation defense and met with Jason Smith and Zane Grabau, two departmental alumni now on the faculty at the University of Florida. Read more >>

Ph.D. student Eric Nazareno was one of the eight graduate students awarded with the 2018 MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures (GFV) Fellowship. Eric’s research involves identifying new sources of genetic resistance against crown rust, a widespread disease in oat caused by the fungus Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae. He uses bi-parental linkage mapping and genome-wide association to locate quantitative trait loci linked to disease resistance in wild and cultivated species of oat. Read more >>

Andrew Sathoff was recently awarded the Torske Klubben Fellowship for the 2018-19 academic year. This fellowship provides a $16,000 stipend for graduate student research. Read more >>

Feng Li was recently granted Sigma Xi membership as well as the Charles & Dorothy Andrew Bird Award from Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society, The University of Minnesota Chapter based on the quality of her research work. Read more >>

Melania Figueroa was awarded the 2018 Syngenta Award from the American Phytopathological Society (APS). This award is given by Syngenta Crop Protection to an APS member for an outstanding recent contribution to teaching, research, or extension in plant pathology. Read more >>

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