Sofia Simeto

Graduate Student
402 Stakman

1991 Upper Buford Circle
495 Borlaug Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States

Robert Blanchette
  • 2015 MSc in Biological Sciences, Universidad de la República, Uruguay
  • 2005 B.S. in Biological Sciences, Universidad de la República, Uruguay


Hometown: Montevideo, Uruguay

What is plant pathology to you? 

For me, plant pathology is a way to contribute to society through the quest of management strategies for forest health problems and at the same time, the path to fully understand the pathosystems and to focus on the various interesting aspects of them.

Why did you decide to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota? Tell us about your path to Plant Pathology.

Through various courses in my undergraduate studies I discovered the fungal kingdom and I became fascinated by it. I then looked for an intern position at the Mycology Lab at the university where I obtained my diploma and since then I have been involved in research projects on forest fungal pathogens. Through that experience I became aware of the opportunity I had to address important forest health problems for my country and to try solving them. I wanted to study at UMN because of its known solid history in plant pathology academic training and to have the opportunity of working with Dr. Blanchette.

What do you hope to accomplish in your time at the University of Minnesota, and what are your goals for the future?

I expect graduate studies to be a challenging and rewarding path to strengthen my academic education and to mature as a scientist so that I can contribute to the health of the Uruguayan forests in the best possible way.

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

I like reading, hiking and camping with my family.

Areas of Interest

My research will focus on the fungal community associated with Emerald Ash Borer and the role those fungi play in ash decline and mortality. I also will study the entomopathogenic fungi associated with EAB as potential biocontrol agents of the pest.