College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

November in the News

Faculty Hosts Federal Regulatory Officials

Dr. Prakash Hebbar, National Program Manager in the Emergency & Domestic Programs of  the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Black Stem Rust and Phytophthora ramorum programs, visited the department of plant pathology, Washington State University, Pullman on November 1-2. He gave a seminar on “APHIS-PPQ Black Stem Rust and Sudden Oak Death Programs, examples of USDA efforts to limit the spread of invasive plant pathogens.” Hebbar was accompanied by Steve Miller, Director of the USDA-APHIS Spokane Office. Hebbar, who is located at the APHIS Headquarters in Riverdale, MD, coordinates the nationwide efforts to protect the U.S. agricultural and natural resources from plant diseases, which may be exotic or local in origin. Hebbar and Miller’s visit was organized by Dr. Tim Murray professor in our department. Dr. Murray recently led a national effort to prepare a recovery plan for Ug99.

Battle of the Fungi: Student-invited Speaker Compares Plant Pathology and Medical Mycology

Tom Volk, Professor of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, was hosted by the WSU Plant Pathology Graduate Student Organization as part of their annual Student-Invited Distinguished Lecture Series. Dr Volk’s seminar, “Plant Pathology vs. Medical Mycology: Battle of the Fungi”, discussed the role of fungi in plant and human diseases.

Volk is a widely regarded expert on fungi and has published research on a wide-range of mycological topics, including root-rot pathogens of forest trees and the life cycle of the edible morel. Some of his recent publications include work on the isolation of antibacterial compounds from mushrooms and the identification of the fungus associated with white-nose syndrome in bats. Dr. Volk teaches a wide range of courses and is heavily involved in graduate student education as well as professional and amateur mycological societies. He has been recognized with awards for excellence in teaching and for his contributions to amateur mycology. Dr. Volk also hosts a website,, that is visited 8,000-20,000 times per month by people from all over the world.

In addition to his seminar, Dr. Volk took time to meet with Plant Pathology graduate students and faculty. He also led a well-attended mushroom foray with members of the department and the Palouse Mycological Association.

For more photos, click here.

Students Featured in WSU Today

Noma Chingandu, M.S. student with Dr. Hanu Pappu, and Danny Humphreys, Ph.D. student with Dr. Axel Elling, were featured in the November 8 edition of WSU Today.

Research conducted by Emily Gatch, Ph.D. student with Dr. Lindsey du Toit, on Fusarium wilt was featured in the November 10 edition of WSU Today.

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Department of Plant Pathology, PO Box 646430, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6430, 509-335-9541, Contact Us
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