Students Lead in Knowledge of Virus Ecology
Prior to 2011 there was no course available in the field of virus ecology: not at Penn State and not anywhere else. Dept. of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology (PPEM) faculty member Dr. Marilyn Roossinck developed the one-semester course "Virus Ecology" to broaden this field of inquiry and to train students from many disciplines, including plant pathology, ecology, environmental microbiology, biomedical sciences, and disease ecology in thinking about viruses in the context of their impacts on their hosts and the larger environment. This course teaches students to think about relationships between viruses and hosts and the many external and internal environmental factors that impact these relationships. As of Fall 2016 fifteen students have been trained in this first-of-its-kind course.