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Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology


Graduate News (click for more)

Graduate StudentsIn Autumn, Plant Pathology had 40 students in the MS and PhD program, and 15 enrolled students in the professional Master in Plant Health Management (administered by Plant Pathology and Entomology).

On a sad note, PhD student Bryan Cottrell passed away on Nov. 1, 2016.  A memorial tree outside the east entrance of Kottman Hall was dedicated in his memory.  We are greatly saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague Bryan. We also thank the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens for the donating and planting of the tree.

2016 MS/PhD student highlights include:

Claudio Vrisman (PhD candidate) was awarded an OSU Presidential Fellowship, the most prestigious graduate fellowship awarded by the Graduate School.  Vrisman, advised by Sally Miller, is using real time imaging and bioluminescence to characterize the colonization of cucurbit hosts by Erwinia tracheiphila, the causal agent of bacterial wilt.  He is also examining novel inhibitory small molecules for applications in bacterial wilt disease management.

Vrisman was awarded first place for his oral presentation in the Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) section.

Claudio joins Anna Testen, PhD candidate, as an OSU Presidential Fellow.  Testen, who is also advised by Sally Miller, is working to develop methods to improve soil health and tomato disease management in Tanzania.  Testen and Dominique Tate were awarded Blair F. Janson and Wilmer G. Stover Scholarships to participate in the American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting in Tampa, Florida.

Emile Gluck Thaler, PhD student studying with Jason Slot, was awarded first place at the 2016 Mycological Society of America Annual Meeting for his research poster, "Clustering of catabolic genes in fungi is an adaption to specialized plant biochemistry."

Horacio Lopez Nicora, 2015 Presidential Fellow, graduated in 2016 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher with Terry Niblack.  > View Ohio Soybean Council video about his research

David Showalter and Ellie Walsh were named  2016 C.C. Allison award recipients in recognition of high achievement in graduate research and service to the department > Read more

The Plant Pathology Graduate Students Association (PPGSA) celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016.  PPGSA continues to take an active role in the department, hosting seminar speakers, organizing field trips and professional development activities, and fund-raising for travel grants.  Rachel Capouya serves as the 2016-2017 president and Karasi Mills is the vice-president.

Professional Society Involvement
Our graduate students actively participate in the American Phytopathological Society (APS), Mycological Society of America (MSA), Society of Nematologists (SON), American Society for Virology (ASV) and other professional societies. Horacio Lopez Nicora was the first graduate student to serve on the SON Executive Board.  Notable involvement by graduate students inlcude:

- Karasi Mills is the APS Graduate Student Committee chair; Anna Testen is the immediate past chair
- Dominique Tate was appointed to the Office of Public Relations and Outreach Board; Testen served on this board in 2015
- Ellie Walsh serves on the APS Press Board
- Tate is the APS Biotechnology Committee chair; Mills in the immediate past chair
- Rachel Medina is the APS Nematology Committee chair; Walsh is the immediate past chair