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Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology

student research
Learning about plant pathology through undergraduate research and work experience

Borlaug's Army at Ohio State

Borlaug's Army: Working to Make Local and Global Food Security a Reality

Borlaug's Army, named after Nobel Peace Laureate Norman Borlaug, is an initiative spearheaded by the American Phytopathological Society to engage and educate others about plant pathology.  Undergraduate students who have participated in an internship or undergraduate research experience are eligible for free membership in the American Phytopathological Society.  > Read more about Borlaug's Army

Interested in becoming part of Borlaug's Army?

Ohio State students who have been involved in plant pathology research and education in Plant Pathology have joined Borlaug's Army:

Ambria Small is a Plant Health Management major and is involved in research on the soybean cyst nematode (#1 pest of soybeans in the U.S.), where she has learned how to process soybean cyst nematode samples and gained experience in fieldwork and experimental design. (T. Niblack lab)

Christina Tomashuk worked in a fungal genomics laboratory, where she cultured crabapple and apple samples to survey different strains Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that can infect many different crops plants.  She also examined and sequenced other fungal genera in the samples to explore underlying genetic differences associated with pathogenicity (the ability to cause disease). (J. Slot and H. Reynolds, mentors)

Nicole Raab is a microbiology major who worked on projects to study the soybean cyst nematode and charcoal rot in soybean in both field and laboratory environments. After discovering exciting agricultural applications of microbiology, Nicole has added a  plant pathology minor to her curriculum. (T. NIblack lab)

Jessica Loucks worked with Nancy Taylor in the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic where she prepared media cultures, logged plant samples submitted to the clinic and ran ELISA assays.

Austin Pelyak is a student at the Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster.  He worked in Dr. Anne Dorrance's lab where he helped identify "various soybean diseases, harmful insects and gruesome weeds," and helped with field trials.

Katie Speicher participated in the OARDC Research Internship Program with Dr. Fred Michel.  Her project centered on the remediation of aminopyralid herbicide in compost.  She tested various additives on their ability to absorb the aminopyralid to reduce phytotoxic effects in the compost.

Brin Kessinger (Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology major) has been investigating Macrophomina phaseolina, a fungus that causes charcoal rot on soybeans.  Brin has been plating soil and soybean roots to quantify fungus (colony forming units). (T. Niblack lab)

Zachary Foust (Plant Pathology major) is investigating genes in rice (Oryza sativa) involved in resistance to the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. (T. Mitchell lab)

Paige Thrush is working in Dr. Francesca Peduto Hand's program to examine spore traps from nurseries to find the cause of a fruit rot disease in winterberry.

Christopher Lovekin worked in the Ornamental Plant Germplasm Center where he assisted the greenhouse manager and learned tissue culture to propagate genetic material for ornamental breeders and researchers.