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2015

Swisher Receives Award for Research Proposal
December 21, 2015
Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences awarded Hunter Swisher more than $1,900 for his Undergraduate Student Research Proposal.
David Beyer Reflects on 25 Years of Service
December 17, 2015
Dr. David M. Beyer reflects on 25 years of service to Penn State and remembers some of those who helped to shape his career.
2015 Holiday Party a Success
December 16, 2015
PPEM celebrated the holidays together with a dinner at Celebration Hall on Tues., December 15, 2015.
Mazzone Awarded International Research Funding
December 15, 2015
Jennie Mazzone was awarded funding to develop educational materials to empower Honduran women in the horticultural value chain.
Bull Lab Welcomes Fulbright Scholar Irda Safni
December 14, 2015
Fulbright Scholar Dr. Irda Safni arrived from Indonesia on Dec. 1 to conduct research in Dr. Carolee Bull's lab.
Rahman Begins Work in NC State Plant Pathology Lab
December 7, 2015
As of Dec. 7, 2015, PPEM alumnus Dr. Alamgir Rahman works as a postdoctoral researcher in NC State's Vegetable Pathology Lab.
Meet PPEM's Newest Courtesy Faculty Member
December 5, 2015
Dr. Mark A. Boudreau, Penn State Brandywine Biology Instructor and specialist in epidemiology and intercropping, became a PPEM Courtesy Faculty member on Dec. 1, 2015.
Department Celebrates Nov/Dec Birthdays
December 4, 2015
The Department of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology celebrated the faculty, staff, and students with November/December birthdays today.
Sarah Bardsley Capasso Passes Final Defense
November 24, 2015
Congratulations to Sarah Capasso and Adviser María del Mar Jiménez Gasco for Sarah's successful Ph.D. defense of "Antibiotic Resistance in Pennsylvania Stone Fruit Orchards" on Nov. 23, 2015.
PPEM Celebrates Thanksgiving
November 23, 2015
The Department of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology faculty, staff, and students enjoyed the Plant Pathology Association's 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Potluck on Thursday, November 19, 2015.
Professor from Bangladesh Visits Kang Lab
November 20, 2015
Dr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad of the University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, visited the Kang lab in November to consider potential collaboration.
Dr. Elwin Stewart Donates Crabapple Sign
November 19, 2015
Dr. Elwin Stewart, Professor Emeritus and former Dept. Head, donated the new sign installed today for the flowering crabapples disease resistance study plot at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center.
Kari Peter Enriches Phage Biology Course
November 19, 2015
Dr. Kari Peter, Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology from the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, PA, explains fire blight to first-year Gettysburg College Phage Biology course students.
Echols Champions Minority Student Research Conference
November 17, 2015
Kayla A. Echols, Plant Biology Ph.D. Candidate in Dr. Yinong Yang's lab, commends the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students.
Davis Narrates Tanzania Safari
November 13, 2015
Dr. Donald D. Davis provides a personal narrative of his spectacular ten-day photographic safari in Tanzania with his son Matt.
Crop Genome Engineering Gets Boost From Yinong Yang
November 11, 2015
Dr. Yinong Yang traveled across the country and around the world September 11-October 9 to present multiple talks and seminars on crop genome engineering.
Kaixi Zhao Passes Oral Candidacy Exam
November 11, 2015
Congratulations to Kaixi Zhao, Ph.D. student in the Department of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology, who passed her Oral Candidacy Exam on November 10, 2015. Kaixi is advised by Dr. Cristina Rosa, Assistant Professor, Plant Virology.
Photos Capture PPEM's 2015 Fall Harvest
November 9, 2015
Photos capture this fall's corn, soybean, and potato harvests, fall tillage, potato samples, and aerial views of the farm fields.
Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program Fellowship Takes Minkenberg to Iowa
November 6, 2015
Bastian Minkenberg, Plant Biology Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Yinong Yang's lab, traveled last month to Des Moines, Iowa, as part of Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program.
Plant Pathology Minor's Family Tradition Spawns Career Goal
November 6, 2015
Penn State News this week features Sara Getson, Plant Science and French double major and Plant Pathology minor, whose long-time family tradition of mushroom hunting led to her dream of a plant science career.
Passion for Microbial Genetics Inspires New Fulbright Scholar Alsayed Alfiky
November 5, 2015
Egyptian Fulbright Scholar Alsayed Alfiky takes another step on his Microbial Genetics career path as a visiting scholar in Penn State’s Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology.
PPEM Celebrates Halloween
October 30, 2015
On Friday, October 30, 2015, the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology celebrated Halloween, October birthdays, and Dr. Vasileios Bitas's new position with Symbiota.
Nina Shishkoff Shares BSL-3 Perspective
October 27, 2015
Dr. Nina Shishkoff, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Plant Pathologist, talked with faculty and students today about her work in a Biological Safety Level 3 containment facility.
Dr. Gitta Coaker Conveys Tale of Two Kinases
October 20, 2015
Dr. Gitta L. Coaker, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, delivered a joint seminar sponsored by the Dept. of Plant Pathology & Environmental and the Dept. of Plant Biology.
Vasileios Bitas Accepts Position as Symbiota Scientist
October 19, 2015
Congratulations to Dr. Vasileios Bitas, who has accepted a position as a scientist with Symbiota in Cambridge, MA.
Giorgi Mushroom Company Hires Fungi Fan Anh Tran
October 15, 2015
Penn State's Ag Career Day introduced Giorgi Mushroom Company, the largest single-location mushroom farm in the world, to its recent new hire Anh Tran, a fungi fan and Department of Food Science 2015 graduate.
Isard Showcases iPiPE at National IPM Coordinators Meeting
October 12, 2015
Scott Isard showcased the Integrated Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education Cooperative Agricultural Project at the National Integrated Pest Management Coordinators Committee meeting.
Mushroom Short Course Draws Young Growers
October 12, 2015
Many young growers were among the 178 attendees at the annual Mushroom Short Course, held September 27-29, 2015, in Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania, featuring speakers from industry and academia.
Boudreau Depicts Intercropping and Leaf Spot of Peanut Challenges
October 5, 2015
PPEM Fall Seminar Series speaker Dr. Mark A. Boudreau, a Penn State-Brandywine Dept. of Biology instructor, presented "Intercropping and Leaf Spot of Peanuts: Opportunities and Challenges From Seven Years of Study."
Faculty Teach "Most Interesting Courses" at Penn State
September 23, 2015
Big congrats to Drs. Tim McNellis (AGECO 121 Plant Stress: It's Not Easy Being Green) and María del Mar Jiménez Gasco and Gretchen Kuldau (PPEM 120 The Fungal Jungle) for teaching the top two "most interesting courses to take" at Penn State.
Capasso and Magdama Receive APS Travel Awards
September 18, 2015
Sarah Capasso and Freddy Magdama, under the supervision of Dr. María del Mar Jiménez Gasco, received competitive travel awards to attend the 2015 American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting held in Pasadena, CA.
Freddy Magdama Participates in the Dow-SISCA Competition
September 18, 2015
Ph.D. student Freddy Magdama teamed up with Sarah Eissler (M.S. student in Rural Sociology) to present a research project for the Dow-Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Awards.
Professor Gary Moorman Retires
September 8, 2015
Dr. Gary W. Moorman retired on August 31, 2015, after 32 years of service in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology.
PPEM Welcomes New Department Head Carolee Bull
September 4, 2015
The Dept. of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology welcomed new Dept. Head Carolee T. Bull and thanked Interim Dept. Head David M. Geiser.
Six New Graduate Students Join Department
September 1, 2015
Six new graduate students have joined the Department of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology: Edelio R. Bazán, Kayla A. Echols, Matthew S. Wheatley, Melissa L. Finley, Md Tariqul Islam, and Garrett E. Morrison.
Sara Klee and Yueying Chen Pass Comprehensive Exams
August 31, 2015
Congratulations to Sara Klee, Ph.D. candidate in Plant Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Timothy W. McNellis, and Yueying Chen, Ph.D. candidate in Plant Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Yinong Yang, for recently passing their comprehensive exams.
Applications Now Accepted for New Assistant Professor Position Focused on Phytobiomes
August 24, 2015
The Penn State Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology is actively seeking applicants for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor to develop an innovative research program on plant-associated microbiomes ("phytobiomes").
Assistant Professor Position Newly Announced for Microbial Ecologist
August 24, 2015
Applications are now being received for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the Penn State Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology to develop a high impact research program on the ecology of microbes.
New Graduate Program Coordinator Hired
August 11, 2015
The Department of Plant Pathology & Environmental Microbiology welcomes Carol Boring to her new position as Graduate Program Coordinator.
Solar Energy Enthusiasts Tour Elwin Stewart's Happy Valley Vineyard
July 31, 2015
The American Solar Energy Society's Solar 2015 conference attendees toured Elwin Stewart's Happy Valley Vineyard on Thursday, July 30, to see firsthand his vineyard's innovative solar energy technology.
Two Awards to Ningxiao Li
July 9, 2015
Ningxiao Li, Ph.D. candidate in Plant Biology, is a recipient of the 2015/2016 Storkan-Hanes-McCaslin Research Foundation Award and the 2015 Huck Dissertation Research Award. These awards will support her dissertation research, which is supervised by Dr. Seogchan Kang, on roles and modes of action of fungal volatiles in manipulating plants.
Kari Peter Receives Joan Luerssen Faculty Enhancement Fund
June 9, 2015
Assistant Professor Kari Peter received the Joan Luerssen Faculty Enhancement Fund from the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. Dr. Peter will be using this fund to participate in Clemson’s Plant-Parasitic Nematode Identification Course, which will facilitate the growing need for guiding tree fruit growers on nematode problems.
Swisher Receives Undergraduate Research Award
May 4, 2015
Plant Pathology minor undergraduate Hunter Swisher received a $2,000 research award from the College of Agricultural Sciences to find out if morel mushrooms are considered mycorrhizal fungi.
Carolee T. Bull Named New Department Head
April 25, 2015
Dr. Carolee T. Bull will assume the roles of Professor and Head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology on September 1, 2015.
Hunter Swisher Places Second in Annual Undergraduate Research Expo
April 7, 2015
Plant Science major Hunter Swisher’s poster placed second at the Gamma Sigma Delta Research Exposition on March 24, 2015.
Sara Klee Recognized in 30th Annual Penn State Graduate Exhibition
April 2, 2015
Sara Klee, Plant Pathology Ph.D. student in Dr. Tim McNellis’s lab, received third place for her poster presentation during the 30th Annual Penn State Graduate Exhibition on March 22, 2015. Her poster was titled "Using fluorescent labeling to gain insight into fire blight disease development."
Postdoc Emily Pfeufer Joins University of Kentucky Plant Pathology Faculty
April 1, 2015
Ph.D. graduate and current postdoc Emily Pfeufer leaves this week to join the Plant Pathology faculty at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Our department's gratitude and pride in her work will continue after her departure. We wish Dr. Pfeufer well!
Smyth Receives John W. Rippon Research Award
March 31, 2015
Christopher Smyth, Plant Pathology Ph.D. student in Dr. David Geiser's lab, has received a John W. Rippon Research Award from the Mycological Society of America. This award supports innovative graduate student research on medically important fungi.
Minkenberg Receives Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug Int'l Scholars Program Fellowship
March 30, 2015
Bastian Minkenberg, Plant Biology Ph.D. student in Dr. Yinong Yang's lab, is the recipient of a prestigious 2015 Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program Fellowship. This program supports students working on rice or wheat breeding.
Sara Klee Receives APS Travel Award
March 17, 2015
Sara Klee (Ph.D. candidate in Plant Pathology) received an American Phytopathological Society Graduate Student Travel Award ($500) during the APS Potomac Division meeting in Rehoboth, DE, March 11-13, 2015.
Exhibition Highlights Mushroom Research
February 19, 2015
The exhibition, "Mushrooms: A Tribute to the Kneebone Mushroom Reference Library," is on display Feb. 25 to May 7, in the Sidewater Commons, 102 Pattee Library on the University Park campus. Leon R. Kneebone, Professor Emeritus of botany and plant pathology, donated his private library to create a working library for researchers in all fields of mushroom cultivation and mycology.
Jennie Mazzone Sees Firsthand How Cambodian and Thai Farmers Live
February 18, 2015
Graduate student Jennie Diehl Mazzone was one of 12 Penn State students who traveled to Thailand and Cambodia to witness recent agricultural developments that could play a role in alleviating poverty and ending world hunger.
Sara Getson Hunts Mushrooms in France
January 13, 2015
News and photos from Sara Getson, our Plant Pathology minor who works with Gary Moorman and who, while studying abroad first semester, hunted mushrooms.