College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

April in the News

Student Awards:
Two graduate students, Olufemi Alabi and Sridhar Jarugula, working under the direction of Dr. Naidu Rayapati, received the Jean Thornton Ferguson Graduate Fellowship in Viticulture & Enology from the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences in recognition of their “scholastic achievements, leadership, and future promise” in addressing virus diseases of the grapevine.

Earthquake/Tsunami Awareness Drill:
As part of Disaster Preparedness Month, the Pullman Office Staff participated in the Statewide Earthquake and Tsunami Awareness Drill on April 24. Safety Officer Martin Chilvers was on hand to discuss the importance of “drop, cover, and hold” in the event of an earthquake. Chilvers also discussed the importance of knowing your evacuation routes and heading for higher ground if you are near a coast line and you feel the ground shake, hear a siren, or see the ocean recede from the shoreline. The drill was a platform for discussion of essential earthquake and tsunami safety actions with our staff and students. Dr. Brenda Schroeder also led her staff in a drill. For more information, go to the State of Washington Emergency Management Division web site. see photos

Research Presentations:
Lee Hadwiger attended “Discover WSU – Science and Industry Collaboration” and gave a presentation on “Chitosan/copper applications: A low concentration that protects potatoes against late blight (abstract).” He will be traveling to University of Missouri to attend the the 24th Annual Missouri Plant Bio Symposium. At the symposium he will present “HMG – A synthesis, phosphorylation and the regulation of the immune response in peas (abstract).”

The FUN Committee hosted a celebration in recognition of Dr. Lori Carris’s recent Outstanding Mentor of the Year award (see story below). see photos

Guest Speaker:
Dr. Rebecca Nelson, Cornell University, was the graduate student invited lecturer for this year’s Plant Pathology Distinguished Lecture Series. Dr. Nelson’s seminar title was, “Quantitative Resistance to Diseases of Rice and Maize.” The students hosted a reception as part of the activities. see photos

On Solid Ground Feature:
Research on treatment for white mold on potato conducted by Dennis Johnson and former PhD student, Zahi Atallah, is featured in the April 11 issue of CAHNR’s On Solid Ground.

Mentor Award:
Dr. Lori Carris was chosen as the Outstanding Mentor of the Year by the Washington State University Women’s Leadership Alliance. This is the second year for the awards program, which recognizes a WSU employee who has filled the special role of mentor in their academic and/or professional career. The program recognizes both formal and informal mentoring accomplishments at WSU. Drs. Ekaterini Riga and Hanu Pappu were also nominated for this award. see photo1, photo2

Intern begins Program at Mount Vernon:
Julia “Jules” Riske is involved in an 8-week internship in Dr. Lindsey du Toit’s Vegetable Seed Pathology program at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC during April and May of 2007, assisting with field, greenhouse, and lab research on vegetable seed crop diseases. This internship is part of Jules’ senior year at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Jules grew up in rural Northern California, and now lives in Rockport, Washington, in Eastern Skagit Co. At home with rough mountains and rivers canyons, she never thought about farming until she discovered the luscious, fertile Skagit River Valley. Having grown up in her father’s multi-acre garden and orchard, farming was as comfortable as an old pair of Carharts. Jules studied at the Evergreen State College, and will graduate with a degree in Ecological Agriculture in 2007. She interned and now works for Anne Schwartz, owner of Blue Heron Farm and Nursery in Rockport, WA. Jules serves on the board of the Tilth Producers of Washington, and when in the Skagit, she serves as secretary for the Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market board.

Faculty Chosen to Speak:
The American Phytopathological Society, Early Career Professionals Scientific Programs Board, has chosen Dr. Ekaterini Riga as one of the four speakers for the “Faces of the Future in Nematology” Symposium. The title of Dr. Riga’s presentation is, “The effects of Brassica crops on plant parasitic nematodes, free living nematodes, and soil microbial dynamics when used in combination with reduced rates of synthetic nematicides.” This session is designed to acknowledge the “up and comers” in a plant pathology research area. The chosen speakers will have the opportunity to present their current work as well as the future direction of their programs and their discipline, and this year that will be Nematology. In addition, the speakers will publish a two-page, peer-reviewed symposium proceedings paper, where they can highlight their philosophy and futuristic thinking about the direction of their discipline. (read abstract)

Faculty Member to Receive Award:
Dr. Naidu Rayapati to receive the 2007 International Service Award from the American Phytopathological Society. The American Phytopathological Society (APS) selected Dr. Naidu Rayapati to receive the 2007 APS International Service Award.  This award recognizes outstanding contributions to plant pathology by APS members for countries other than their own.  Dr. Rayapati was conferred with this distinguished award in recognition of his accomplishments in international agriculture to solving virus disease problems for enhanced food security in subsistence agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and capacity building for virus research in developing countries.  He continues to pursue research and outreach activities on virus diseases impacting staple food and vegetable crops in developing countries of Asia and Africa with funding support from USAID and other resources. The award carries a certificate and cash prize made possible with John and Ann Niederhauser Endowment Fund (JANE Fund) from the APS.

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