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Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology


Ohio State scientist honored with highest award in plant pathology

Aug. 1, 2019
Larry Madden

Contact: Larry Madden,, Tel (330) 263-3839. > Hi-res photo file

Larry Madden, an international authority on plant disease epidemiology with The Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, has received the very prestigious Award of Distinction from the American Phytopathological Society (APS). APS is the largest professional organization of plant pathologists in the world, with members dedicated to the study and control of plant diseases.

The Award of Distinction is the highest honor the society can bestow and is presented only “on rare occasions to persons who have made truly exceptional contributions to plant pathology." In the 111 history of APS, only 15 individuals have previously received this honor. Madden was presented the award on August 4 at the annual meeting of APS held in Cleveland. Attending were 1,500 members from the US and around the world.

Madden joined the Department of Plant Pathology at Ohio State on the OARDC-Wooster campus in 1980, becoming a faculty member in 1982. He was appointed Distinguished Professor of Plant Protection in 2008. He has served three times as interim chair of the department, which has faculty, students and staff in Wooster and Columbus. 

Madden has pioneered the use of many statistical and mathematical approaches to analyze, compare and understand plant disease epidemics. He has used his research results to predict the risk of crop disease outbreaks and the rates of disease spread. He has developed several disease forecasting systems used to make disease-control decisions. His findings have directly affected individuals around the world who work to quantify and understand plant epidemics.

“I am overwhelmed by this extraordinary honor.  I owe so much to my collaborators and students, and to my department for always being so supportive” Madden said. “I am so proud to be recognized by my professional society for doing what I love to do."

Madden has authored more than 260 scientific papers, and has written the two primary textbooks in plant disease epidemiology published over the last 30 years. He is in great demand as a lecturer nationally and internationally on epidemiology, data analysis in plant pathology, and disease prediction. He has previously served as editor-in-chief of Phytopathology, a major international scientific journal of plant pathology, and was president of APS from 1996 to 1997.

He has received numerous other honors in recognition of his groundbreaking accomplishments, including the Ohio State Distinguished Scholar Award; Ruth Allen Award from APS; E.C. Stakman Award from the University of Minnesota; and the Jakob Eriksson Prize and Gold Medal from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He also is an elected Fellow of two scientific societies.