WSU CAHNRS

College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

Dr. Marianne Elliott to receive the 2013 CAHNRS Award of Excellence

Congratulations to Dr. Marianne Elliott, Research Associate in Dr. Gary Chastagner’s program in Puyallup. She was selected to receive the 2013 CAHNRS AP Technical Staff Excellence Award. She will be recognized by CAHNRS Dean, Dr. Dan Bernardo at the annual CAHNRS banquet on April 13th in Ensminger.

Dr. Elliott has had responsibility to coordinate development of statewide sudden oak death (SOD) educational programs and conduct research relating to SOD at WSU Puyallup since joining WSU in June, 2008. She holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington.

One of the reasons the WSU SOD program is recognized nationally and internationally is because of Marianne’s leadership and productivity.  SOD is caused by the exotic, regulated pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. She had done an excellent job expanding our outreach efforts and increasing the involvement of numerous volunteers in this program. She is highly respected by industry leaders, regulatory personnel, and other scientists working on this pathogen.  She has upgraded our web site and has incorporated various social media to disseminate information. Marianne has co-authored 8 peer review publications (is a senior author of four), since joining WSU. She has co-authored 15 technical papers in proceedings, produced six outreach brochures and/or bilingual identification and management posters for the nursery and landscape industry that can be downloaded from the WSU Puyallup SOD website. Improvement to our SOD website has increased traffic to approximately 9000 page views from 3000 visitors in 2011, with an average of 750 page views per month. She had also contributed a number of articles to the California Oak Mortality Task Force newsletter.
Dr. Elliott has made more than 20 presentations at regional, national, and international scientific meetings, including an invited presentation summarizing the state of the art of SOD research at the 2012 International Symposium on Oak Forest Preservation meeting in Seoul, South Korea. She assisted in the organization of a national workshop on the spread of P. ramorum in water. She has been a CO-PI on grant proposals that brought in just under $900,000.

Dr. Elliott organized programs that have provided opportunities for over 70 local high school, community college and university undergraduate students to be involved in projects relating to SOD. A prime example is a community-based stream monitoring project that provided students an opportunity to obtain hands-on experience doing a research project relating to the spread of Phytophthora species in waterways. Upon completion of this project, one student said “This project not only incorporated in-class lab exercises but also focused our attention on local environmental issues brought on by globalization and how the actions and movement of humans in one part of the world can spread to other areas of the world. With this project, I was able to take the skills that I’ve accumulated over the past few years and apply them to real research within our own community”.  A manuscript describing the class projects has been accepted for publication in “American Biology Teacher” and Marianne is working on integrating this activity into the STEM education program that WSU Puyallup is developing with the Puyallup School District. In addition she has taken a leadership role in hosting four undergraduate interns from CA, OH, and WA.

Although Dr. Elliott has only been at WSU for just over 5 years, she has served as a professional role model for a multitude of volunteers, graduate students, post docs, interns, time-slip employees, as well as staff and faculty at WSU. She recently received the Puyallup REC Employee of the Year award.


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