Successful PhD defense
Parama Sikdar from Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University (WSU) recently obtained her PhD degree in December 2013. Mark Mazzola and Changlin Xiao served as major advisors while Tobin Peever and Patricia Okubara were on her supervisory committee. Sikdar’s research program was conducted at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center and the USDA-ARS Tree Fruit Research Lab in Wenatchee. Her dissertation was entitled “Biology and epidemiology of Phacidiopycnis washingtonensis on apple” and her research focused on developing an understanding of the epidemiology and population structure of Phacidiopycnis washingtonensis in Washington State. She also developed a real-time PCR protocol which enables detection of latent fruit infections caused by P. washingtonensis and Sphaeropsis pyriputrscens. Results from these studies could benefit apple fruit growers in making decisions on the timely application of control strategies and for inspection of apple fruit destined for export market. Prior to joining WSU, she worked as a Research Biologist at Chembiotek, which is a CRO under the Chatterjee Group, Kolkata, India and had obtained her B.S (honors, 2003-06) and M.S(2006-08) in Botany from the University of Calcutta, Kolkata, India. Starting in January, 2014 she would begin studies as a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Plant Pathology at Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN under the direction of Margaret Mmbaga.