Mann, Rajtar win 2023 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships

May 2023

Congratulations to PhD candidates Andrew Mann and Nick Rajtar for being awarded 2023-24 UMN Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship funding! This University-wide award pulled from 193 outstanding candidates. 

Nick Rajtar stands in the woods next to a large chicken of the woods mushroom

Nick Rajtar is a PhD candidate in the Blanchette Lab. His research is focusing on invasive forest pathogens in Minnesota with emphasis on detecting
Phytophthora species, as well as Heterobasidion irregulare

Andrew Mann stands in woods next to a Chicken of the Woods

Andrew Mann is a PhD candidate in the Blanchette Lab. His research focuses on the fungal and bacterial communities associated with three beetles, the red turpentine beetle, eastern larch beetle, and emerald ash borer. Specifically, Andrew is interested in how fungi in the order Ophiostomatales may aid these beetles by providing nutrition, reducing plant defenses, and causing disease within the trees.