Latest News

August 21, 2014

With the upcoming retirement of Dr. Fred Gildow, Dr. Geiser has assumed the role of Head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology on an interim basis.

August 18, 2014

The Department of Plant Pathology welcomes Kathy Zimmerman in her new position as the Department's Graduate Program Support Assistant.

August 7, 2014

Dr. Kang attended the 16th International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions in Rhodes, Greece, July 6-10, 2014, and gave a talk titled “Hidden Roles of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in Fungal Niche Adaptation and Plant Biology.” Approximately 1,200 from 55 countries attended this meeting and presented more than 700 posters. A diverse array of talks in plenary and concurrent sessions highlighted the latest developments in this rapidly evolving field.

August 6, 2014

Ningxiao received a $2,500 fellowship from the Center for Environmental geoChemistry and Genomics (CECG). She is a student in the Plant Biology program working on fungal volatile effect on plant growth and stress resistance with Dr. Seogchan Kang. Through this fellowship program, the CECG supports student research in areas ranging across the biological and agricultural sciences, engineering, and earth and mineral sciences. Congratulations to Ningxiao on this achievement!

August 6, 2014

Laura Ramos-Sepulveda and Vasileios Bitas, Ph.D. Candidates in Plant Pathology under the supervision of Dr. Tim McNellis and Dr. Seogchan Kang, respectively, successfully completed their Ph.D. thesis defense.

July 23, 2014

On June 11 & 12, 2014, a group of 22 postdocs, including Jung-Eun Kim and Paolo Margaria, representing seven departments in the College of Agricultural Sciences met to discuss their future as academic leaders and ways to achieve their personal goals at a Postdoc Leadership Development Program, the first of its kind hosted by Penn State.

(L-R) Dr. Venkatesh Moktalki and Carla Lanze
June 9, 2014

A USDA travel award from the Oomycete Molecular Genetics Research Collaboration Network enabled Carla to attend this workshop, held on June 3rd-5th. The workshop featured presentations on methods of genome sequencing and gene prediction and centered on teaching the attendees how to utilize the web tools FungiDB and Pathogen Portal to analyze genomic data.

Dr. Marilyn Roossinck
June 6, 2014

This is the first year for this grant program to support improving the curriculum and educational programming. Marilyn will be using the grant to support travel to study undergraduate Environmental Microbiology (EM) programs already in place at three other Universities. This should provide a lot of information about EM program organization and student experiences for use in developing a minor in EM.

May 8, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A naturally occurring fungus might help curb the spread of an invasive tree species that is threatening forests in most of the United States, according to researchers.

April 30, 2014

Every April, the Plant Pathology Association (PPA) volunteers at the College of Agriculture Science’s Ag Day. Located in the HUB, the PPA displayed posters on educational opportunities for undergraduates as well as on the Plant Disease Clinic, passed out brochures on Pennsylvania mushroom production and the diseases threatening Penn State’s historic elm trees, and taught Penn State students and State College community members about plant pathology through interactive games.

Dr. Herbert Cole, Professor Emeritus
April 21, 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Herb Cole, professor emeritus in Plant Pathology, who received this award for his many years of continued effort, volunteering, and advocating in the community for Penn State Extension.

Eric O'Neal
April 10, 2014

Congratulations to Eric O'Neal for placing third in the Health & Life Sciences Competition with his poster titled "Intraspecific root grafting and clonal growth in Ailanthus altissima and their role in transmission of Verticillium nonalfalfae." There were 64 poster presentations in the Health & Life Sciences category. Eric is working on his M.S. degree with Dr. Don Davis.

April 6, 2014

Congratulations to Emily Pfeufer who received the Paul Hand Award for Graduate Student Teaching Achievement from the College of Agricultural Sciences. Eric O’Neal (2nd place in the Biological Sciences Division) and to Hunter Swisher (2nd place in the Undergraduate Plant Related Systems Division) presented award winning posters. The awards for Emily and Eric were presented by Dr. Gary Thompson, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, at the Awards Ceremony on Friday, March 21. The award for Hunter was presented by Dr. Tracy Hoover, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education.

April 6, 2014

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology graduate students, undergraduate students, and advisors, contribute to the success of the 2014 Gamma Sigma Delta Research Expo, which was held on March 19, 2014.

April 4, 2014

Dr. Gretchen Kuldau is the Coordinator for the iMPS in Homeland Security: Agricultural Biosecurity and Food Defense Option.

Dr. Carolee Bull
April 1, 2014

On March 25, 2014 the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology hosted a professional development workshop titled “How to Be Your Own Best Mentor.”

Dr. Gary Moorman
March 26, 2014

This is the highest honor given to American Phytopathological Society (APS) members in recognition of meritorious contributions to the discipline of plant pathology. Moorman will be named a Fellow at the national meeting in August 2014 in St. Paul, Minnesota, recognizing his more than 30 years of service to the profession.

photo by: Emily Pfeufer
March 12, 2014

Sweet onion production has soared in Pennsylvania in recent years and bacterial disease challenges have grown right along with production. Steve Bogash provided interview-type questions to Emily Pfeufer, Ph.D. candidate working with Beth Gugino, Vegetable Pathologist due to her four years of research into sweet onion bacterial diseases.

Polo shirts with the new Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology name
March 11, 2014

The Plant Pathology Association (PPA) is holding a polo shirt fundraiser!