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2018

Research team discovers oldest known plant virus at ancient settlement
December 13, 2018
Researchers studying ancient corncobs found at a Native American archeological site have recovered a 1,000-year-old virus, the oldest plant virus ever reported.
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Penn State Postdoc Society award Molla for contribution to research and discovery
December 7, 2018
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the Penn State Postdoc Society presented the 11th annual Postdoc Research Exhibition on September 28 in Alumni Hall and the HUB-Robeson Center.
Fall 2018 Seminar Series: Dr. Christopher Clarke
December 5, 2018
Dr. Christopher Clarke, research plant pathologist at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), concluded the Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology Fall 2018 Seminar Series on Monday.
Faculty receive SNIP Level I Launch grant to develop Spotted Lanternfly monitoring system
December 4, 2018
Research and awareness around the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) continues to increase as proposals are selected for funding to help fight this invasive species. These sap-feeding insects are a major threat to U.S. agriculture, timber industry, and many managed and natural ecosystems, feeding on over 70 species of plants.
Ehau-Taumaunu Passes Oral Qualifying Exam
December 3, 2018
Congratulations to Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu for passing her oral qualifying exam on Nov. 28.
Hinshaw Passes Oral Qualifying Exam
December 3, 2018
Congratulations to Chauncy Hinshaw for passing his oral qualifying exam on Nov. 28.
Grant supports research to combat white-nose syndrome in bats
November 12, 2018
Penn State research aimed at combating white-nose syndrome in bats has received funding from the Bats for the Future Fund, a public-private partnership between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, Southern Company, and the Avangrid Foundation.
Graduate students receive SACNAS travel scholarships, present at STEM diversity conference
November 9, 2018
Students and faculty from the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology attended The National Diversity in STEM Conference on October 11, 2018, hosted by the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). The three-day conference was held in San Antonio this year and is scheduled to take place in Honolulu next year.
Penn State Mushroom Short Course marks milestone in aiding industry
October 25, 2018
Pennsylvania has a more-than-century-long history as the nation's leading mushroom-producing state, thanks in part to research and extension programs in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Phospholutions: From student project to thriving startup
October 25, 2018
Licensing a technology created in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State startup Phospholutions developed a soil-amendment product called RhizoSorb. The product aims to reduce phosphorus runoff and enhance plant root depth, decreasing the amount of both water and fertilizer needed to have healthy plants.
August 2019 graduate assistantships now available
October 12, 2018
Plant Pathology Graduate Research Assistantships beginning August 2019 are now available for highly-qualified applicants.
Job Opening for tenure-track faculty position
October 5, 2018
The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at The Pennsylvania State University is seeking an assistant professor (soilborne disease dynamics and management). More information/apply at https://psu.jobs/job/83442.
Gorgo-Gourovitch joins department as affiliate instructor
September 28, 2018
The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology recently welcomed Extension Educator, Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch.
Microbiome Center to host networking event Oct. 2
September 26, 2018
Those interested in learning about or participating in microbiome research at Penn State are invited to attend a networking event sponsored by the University's Microbiome Research Center.
Penn State education helps horticulture alumnus dig deep into potato industry
September 26, 2018
Curtis Frederick really digs potatoes. And that's a good thing considering that the 2009 graduate of Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is enjoying a career as a senior agronomist at Sterman Masser Inc., a large, family-owned potato company, in Sacramento, Pennsylvania.
Fruit research and extension projects receive funding from industry groups
September 25, 2018
The State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Program recently awarded nearly $233,000 in funding to support new and ongoing fruit research and extension projects in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Fall 2018 Seminar Series: Dr. Jay Lennon
September 20, 2018
Dr. Jay Lennon, Professor at Indiana University Bloomington was a seminar speaker on September 17.
Ehau-Taumaunu receives Rose Hellaby postgraduate scholarship
September 12, 2018
Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu, Ph.D. student in Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, is the 2018 recipient of the Rose Hellaby postgraduate scholarship.
Potnis Visits PPEM
August 31, 2018
Dr. Neha Potnis, Assistant Professor of Entomology & Plant Pathology at Auburn University was a seminar speaker on August 27.
Tesdall successfully defends thesis
August 30, 2018
Genna Tesdall successfully defended her thesis on August 29.
A CRISPR Mushroom
August 22, 2018
The term "genetically modified organism" is almost guaranteed to spark debate in the news and social media, on Internet message boards, and at the water cooler. Now, the work of a faculty researcher in the college has generated a new wave of attention to the ongoing dialogue surrounding GMOs.
Graduate Students Receive Grants from Northeast SARE
August 7, 2018
The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) program selected proposals of three plant pathology graduate students for the 2018 Graduate Student grant awards. Of the 61 proposals received, Northeast SARE awarded a total of 28 proposals at a funding level of $405,373. SARE offers competitive grants to projects that explore and address key issues affecting the sustainability and future economic viability of agriculture.
ICPP Plenary Session is available to watch
July 30, 2018
Plenary Session – Plant Health is the Earth’s Wealth featuring “Taxing Times – Plant Pathogens in a Global Economy,” by Dr. Carolee T. Bull.
Department welcomes new adjunct faculty
July 5, 2018
The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology recently welcomed two new adjunct faculty, Brenda Wingfield and Justin Pita.
Tesdall Receives AIARD award and Fulbright scholarship
June 26, 2018
The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) recently announced the recipients of 12 Future Leaders Forum scholarships.
PPEM Faculty Present at Taxonomy of Bacteria and Fungi Seminar
June 13, 2018
Faculty and graduate students from the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology (PPEM) at Penn State presented a seminar focused on the taxonomy of plant pathogens, hosted by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection Quarantine (PPQ) and Agriculture Research Service (ARS) on May 9.
Walls Passes Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam
June 4, 2018
Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Joseph Walls for passing his comprehensive examination.
Bautista Jalon Passes Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam
May 31, 2018
Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Laura del Sol Bautista Jalón for passing her comprehensive examination on May 30.
Penn State Extension kiosks at produce auctions provide information for growers
May 25, 2018
In partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Penn State Extension has set up kiosks at produce auctions across the state to provide growers with timely information on disease and pest identification and management, invasive species alerts, and food safety.
Kang and Wee Receive Funding to Initiate New Research on Mycotoxins in Crops
May 24, 2018
Funding by the Jeanne and Charles Rider Endowment to Dr. Seogchan Kang, professor of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, and Dr. Josephine Wee, assistant professor of Food Science, will support their project entitled “Chemical ecology-based control of mycotoxin contamination in food/feed crops”.
Ehau-Taumaunu Passes Candidacy Exam
May 22, 2018
Congratulations to Hanareia Ehau-Taumaunu who passed her doctoral candidacy exam on May 10.
Hinshaw Passes Candidacy Exam
May 22, 2018
Congratulations to Chauncy Hinshaw who passed his doctoral candidacy exam on May 10.
Wallace Passes Candidacy Exam
May 22, 2018
Congratulations to Emma Wallace who passed her doctoral candidacy exam on May 10.
Bell Awarded Joan Luerssen Faculty Enhancement Funding
May 18, 2018
Dr. Terrence Bell was recently awarded funding to attend the International Phytobiomes Conference in December.
Li Successfully Defends Dissertation
May 15, 2018
Ningxiao Li successfully defended her dissertation on May 14.
Smyth Successfully Defends Dissertation
May 14, 2018
Christopher Smyth successfully defended his dissertation on May 11.
Behari Successfully Defends Dissertation
May 3, 2018
Anita Behari successfully defended her dissertation on May 3.
Qu Promoted to Associate Research Professor
May 3, 2018
PPEM Faculty member Dr. Xinshun Qu who has just been promoted from Assistant Research Professor to Associate Research Professor.
Plant biology symposium slated for June at University Park
May 2, 2018
Penn State will host world-renowned scientists as part of the 21st Penn State Plant Biology Symposium: Wild and Tamed Phytobiomes, set for June 19-22 in the Huck Life Sciences Building on the University Park campus.
Mercado Ties First Place for Course-Based Category at Undergraduate Exhibition
May 1, 2018
Students showcased their work at the 2018 Undergraduate Exhibition at the HUB-Robeson Center on April 18.
Alumni Spotlight: Jen Petrella, class of 2017
May 1, 2018
One year after graduating, Penn State alumna Jen Petrella is using her four-year degree to help fight cancer at the University of Pennsylvania.
Undergraduate Andrew May Receives Award at Phage Research Symposium
April 30, 2018
Innovative undergraduate research programs from Penn State and Gettysburg College came together this weekend at Lake Raystown to share experiences hunting phages from land and sea.
PPEM Faculty Member Dr.Alyssa Collins Hosts Flower Trials at SEREC
April 30, 2018
Each May, the expression "flower power" takes on a new meaning at Penn State's Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Manheim, Lancaster County, when an 85-year-old tradition -- the Penn State Flower Trials -- gets under way.
R. R. Nelson Memorial Speaker Series Hosts Dr. Steven Lindow
April 29, 2018
Steven E. Lindow, professor and executive associate dean for the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley, was the guest speaker at the Richard R. Nelson Memorial Lecture Series, on April 23, 2018, in Buckhout Laboratory at Penn State's University Park campus.
Department Appoints Kaiser as Research Support Technologist for Mushroom Spawn Lab
April 26, 2018
The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology recently appointed Edward Kaiser as Research Support Technologist for the Mushroom Spawn Lab. The position was previously held by Vija Wilkinson, who served the department for 30 ½ years.
Epidemiologists convene at Penn State to Build Research Relationships and Expand Educational Opportunities
April 23, 2018
Thanks to funds from the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology’s Francl Endowment, the program of Dr. Paul Esker hosted Drs. Sarah Pethybridge (Cornell University), Neil McRoberts (University of California-Davis), Pierce Paul (Ohio State University) and Peter Ojiambo (North Carolina State University) from April 16 to 20.
Lindow to speak at Richard R. Nelson Memorial Lecture Series
April 19, 2018
Steven E. Lindow, professor and executive associate dean for the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley, will be the guest speaker at the Richard R. Nelson Memorial Lecture Series, from 3:35 to 4:30 p.m. April 23, in 112 Buckhout Laboratory...
Harvey Successfully Defends Dissertation
April 16, 2018
Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Robert Harvey for successfully defending his dissertation on Feb. 27.
Dr. Davis Mentioned in Town & Gown's Preserving Seeds of Knowledge
April 16, 2018
Donald Davis, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, has experienced this hands-on learning through workshops and interaction with Chamberlain to identify plants.
Doctoral student in plant pathology receives NSF research grant
April 13, 2018
Emma Rosenthal, a doctoral student in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, will be able to advance her research interests in plant pathology after receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Terrence Bell provides practical skills through ‘Learning to Apply R to Microbiome Data’ workshop
April 12, 2018
Dr. Terrence Bell, Assistant Professor of Phytobiomes in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, hosted a two-hour workshop entitled Learning to Apply R to Microbiome Data on March 30th, 2018.
Plant pathology graduate student, professor recognized for teaching excellence
April 11, 2018
Two educators in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences recently received recognition for their teaching.
PPEM Department Members Place in the 24th Annual Gamma Sigma Delta Research Expo
April 4, 2018
On March 27, 2018, the Penn State Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta held its 24th annual research expo on the Huck Life Sciences Bridge followed by the Celebration of Excellence on March 29th held in partnership with the College of Agricultural Sciences.
PPEM Graduate Students Help Organize inaugural Global Gallery
March 20, 2018
Faculty and graduate students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences illustrated how their research touches every corner of the world during the inaugural Global Gallery, a symposium hosted by the International Agriculture and Development dual-title graduate program (INTAD) and its student association.
Paul Esker teaches Agricultural Epidemiology at the Autonomous University of Mexico State
March 12, 2018
From February 26 through March 2, Dr. Paul Esker had the opportunity to visit the Autonomous University of Mexico State (la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, UAEM), where he presented an invited talk in the graduate seminar series, as well as a week-long workshop on agricultural epidemiology.
Former PPEM department head, Dr. Barbara Christ, recently spotlighted by alma mater for her M.S. Degree.
March 2, 2018
This is a nice reminder of why we will be celebrating her career with an upcoming retirement party on JUNE 16, 2018 (SAVE THE DATE). Announcements and instructions for registering for the event will be published here shortly.
Natali Ozber selected for the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award
February 28, 2018
Natali Ozber Plant Biology PhD candidate and PPEM student was selected for the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award from the Penn State Graduate School.
Plant pathology students reap benefits of research opportunities
February 15, 2018
Helping undergraduate students understand scientific knowledge through participation in research is a top priority for faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.
Teaching microbiome data analysis through student involvement in actual faculty research projects (PPEM 497)
February 12, 2018
Report from 2017-18 Teaching Transformation and Innovation Grant recipient Terrence Bell, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Unique cohort will support student exploration of agricultural microbiomes
February 9, 2018
Faculty in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are spearheading an initiative that will provide selected doctoral students with the opportunity for extensive study in the emerging field of agricultural microbiome research.