Plant sciences student finds new ways to cultivate goodwill in her community

June 9, 2020

For Amanda Grube, quarantining at her family’s farm in Manheim, Pennsylvania, gave her a lot of time to think about past summers and how this year’s coronavirus would impact her community. To ease the strain a little for her friends and neighbors, Grube has started an informal community garden and a free library, all while completing a virtual internship and staying in touch with her sorority sisters.

Hinshaw Passes Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam

June 8, 2020

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Chauncy Hinshaw for passing his comprehensive examination.

Virus Diversity Dependent on Host: Marilyn Roossinck Discusses Her Research

June 8, 2020

Professor and virologist Marilyn J. Roossinck describes her work and interesting elements of virus behavior. Roossinck tells listeners why plant viruses became the focus of her research, what she’s learned about the host impact on virus diversity and how her work on persistent plant viruses has changed how she conceives of the larger virus community.

Graduate students advised by College of Ag Sciences faculty receive NSF awards

June 1, 2020

Two graduate students advised by faculty in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have received prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, and three other students received honorable mentions.

Grant to support study on generalist microorganisms in agricultural systems

May 28, 2020

Terrence Bell, assistant professor of phytobiomes in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, recently received a $480,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to study generalist microorganisms in agricultural systems.

Plant pathologists at Penn State to aid investigation into lettuce disease

May 28, 2020

Plant pathologists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are lending their expertise to a multi-institutional research project designed to stop a destructive bacterial disease in lettuce.

Spring 2020 Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology Graduates

May 15, 2020

Meet some of PPEM's 2020 Ph.D., M.S., Intercollege, and World Campus graduates, as well as undergraduates who minored in Plant Pathology and/or Mushroom Science and Technology or who worked in PPEM labs.

Three honored for commitment to diversity in College of Agricultural Sciences

May 15, 2020

Three individuals have received the Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, an honor that recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension or creative work that advances diversity in the college.

The Mighty Microbiome

May 13, 2020

The term "microbiome" has become widely used in recent years as people devotedly devour kimchi, kefir, and kombucha in an attempt to improve their digestion, depression, and blood pressure. Indeed, we now know that the trillions of microbes--viruses, bacteria, and fungi--that live on our skin and in our guts, lungs, and reproductive organs, among other places, play critical roles in our well-being.

Rosa Promoted to Associate Professor

May 8, 2020

Cristina Rosa has been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure, effective July 1, 2020.

Clara Miller selected as women's, gender, and sexuality studies marshal

May 8, 2020

As part of Penn State’s 2020 spring commencement activities, Clara Miller will represent the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts as its student marshal.

The mysterious disappearance of the first SARS virus, and why we need a vaccine for the current one but didn’t for the other

May 5, 2020

Virus expert Marilyn J. Roossinck discusses the mysterious disappearance of the first SARS virus, and why we need a vaccine for the current one but didn’t for the other.

Karemera successfully defends thesis

May 4, 2020

Karemera successfully defended his thesis on April 30, 2020.

Rosenthal Passes Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam

April 28, 2020

Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Emma Rosenthal for passing her comprehensive examination.

Alumnus-owned distillery provides sanitizer to Centre County first responders

April 27, 2020

As the co-owner of Big Spring Spirits, a craft distillery in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Penn State alumnus Kevin Lloyd’s product lineup typically includes such beverages as rum, whiskey and gin. However, in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the distillery has added a new bottle to the shelf: hand sanitizer.

Graduate students in plant pathology awarded research grants, honorable mentions

April 24, 2020

Three graduate students in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences were among those who received grants and honorable mentions this year from the National Science Foundation.

New decontamination protocol permits reuse of N95 respirators

April 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a shortage of personal protective equipment, including “N95” face respirators, needed by frontline healthcare providers. A new protocol using aerosolized hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate N95 respirators could allow them to be safely reused in some hospital settings, where the disinfectant is already being used for other decontamination purposes. The protocol, optimized by a team of Penn State researchers, inactivates viruses with no indication that the respirator is deformed or damaged over ten decontamination cycles, as reflected by rigorous respirator fit-testing.

Plant Pathology spotlights diversity, equity and inclusion through new committee

April 16, 2020

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recently launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee — the result of a conversation that sprouted from a mentoring relationship between a student and faculty member.

Penn State researchers find significant economic losses due to soybean diseases

April 16, 2020

Economic losses due to soybean diseases in the United States from 1996 to 2016 amounted to more than $95 billion, according to a team of researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences who examined the long-term impact of soybean diseases on production in the U.S.

Plant Disease Clinic remains open, now accepting electronic samples

April 1, 2020

The Plant Disease Clinic remains open during the novel coronavirus pandemic to provide essential services for Pennsylvania agriculture. The clinic is operating with limited lab hours and working remotely when possible to continue identifying plant diseases and providing management recommendations.

Submit Your Questions for the Dr. TreeFruit Podcast

March 31, 2020

Dr. Kari Peter will be answering all of your early season tree fruit questions from bud break to bloom in this Tuesday, April 7, 2020 podcast. Future episodes will answer questions relevant to the time of year.

Postdoctoral scholar joins Bell lab

March 27, 2020

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology welcomes new postdoctoral scholar, William King, who joined the Bell lab earlier this month.

Penn State Extension, College of Ag Sciences 'open' virtually for business

March 25, 2020

The ever-evolving, novel coronavirus situation has prompted additional changes to Penn State Extension programming and operations across Pennsylvania, as well as other public services offered by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Pesticide seed coatings are widespread but underreported

March 18, 2020

Pesticide-coated seeds — such as neonicotinoids, many of which are highly toxic to both pest and beneficial insects — are increasingly used in the major field crops, but are underreported, in part, because farmers often do not know what pesticides are on their seeds, according to an international team of researchers. The lack of data may complicate efforts to evaluate the value of different pest management strategies, while also protecting human health and the environment.

Department grieves loss of Leon Kneebone

March 17, 2020

Our students, faculty and staff extend our sympathy to the family of Leon Kneebone, who made exceptional contributions to Penn State and the mushroom industry. To learn more about Mr. Kneebone, we share this insightful story written by Bill Horlacher, which appeared in in May 2019.

Teaching excellence recognized in College of Agricultural Sciences

March 5, 2020

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has recognized nine faculty members for outstanding teaching in 2019.

2020 Department awards and scholarships recipients announced

March 3, 2020

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology announced its 2020 awards and scholarships recipients during their annual winter celebration on February 17 at the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center in State College.

Research technologist joins Hockett Lab

February 25, 2020

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology is pleased to announce the addition of Liina Eek to its staff as she assumes the position of research technologist in Hockett Lab.

Smith Passes Qualifying Exam

February 24, 2020

Congratulations to Mary for passing her qualifying exam on February 24.

What are viruses anyway, and why do they make us so sick? 5 questions answered

February 20, 2020

You may sometimes have felt like you “have come down with a virus,” meaning that you became sick from being exposed to something that could have been a virus. In fact, you have a virus – actually, many – all the time. Some viruses cause the common cold, and some are crucial to human survival. New viruses can also emerge, and they typically create illness in humans when they have very recently jumped from another species to humans. As world health leaders try to determine how to respond to the new coronavirus, virus expert Marilyn J. Roossinck answers a few questions.