Posted: April 27, 2021

Phillip Martin successfully defended his thesis on April 23, 2021.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology welcomes new postdoctoral scholar, Mladen Cucak, who joined the Esker Lab earlier this month. 

Mladen’s work focuses on understanding and quantifying the relationship between the pest, host, environment, and human intervention in diverse agronomic pathosystems in order to turn it into practical integrated pest management decision-making advice. He is applying statistical and mathematical computational approaches in combination with the applied field and lab methods to simplify and understand these relationships and apply basic science to solve practical problems. Mladen has previously worked on the development of decision support tools and their practical validation in potato, apple and grapevine. Most of his recent computational work and data can be found in public repositories, in line with the principles of open science.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in crop protection from the University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a master’s degree in plant pathology from the University of Maribor, Slovenia. After obtaining his master’s degree, Mladen worked for the Norwegian institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) in Norway. He later obtained a doctorate in plant pathology from Maynooth University, Ireland, while performing research at the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority (TEAGASC).