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.

Learn what Penn State Extension’s Latinx Ag Network offers on new Facebook page

April 9, 2020

Penn State Extension is connecting with Latinx agriculturists in essential food businesses to provide timely outreach and science-based education on farm production, food safety and workplace risk management.

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 StateCollege.com 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.

President forms task force to look at student food and housing security

February 11, 2020

Food and housing insecurity is a growing issue for students at colleges and universities across the United States. Recent reports from both The Hope Center and the U.S. General Accounting Office have found these issues on college campuses nationwide. To help address this problem at Penn State, University President Eric Barron has formed a University Task Force on Food and Housing Security.

Sutherland Passes Qualifying Exam

January 27, 2020

Congratulations to Jeremy for passing his qualifying exam on January 27.

Department welcomes new building coordinator

January 24, 2020

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology is pleased to announce the addition of Janice McMahon to its staff as she assumes the position of building coordinator.

Aleman Passes Qualifying Exam

January 21, 2020

Congratulations to Max for passing his qualifying exam on January 21.

Fire blight publication featured in American Society for Microbiology podcast

January 15, 2020

A publication from the lab of Timothy McNellis, associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, was recently featured on “This Week in Microbiology,” a podcast produced by the American Society for Microbiology.

Bautista Jalón successfully defends thesis

December 19, 2019

Laura del Sol Bautista Jalón successfully defended her thesis on December 18, 2019.

Interdisciplinary lecture cultivates collaboration, leadership in plant health

December 18, 2019

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences held its inaugural Eva J. Pell Interdisciplinary Lecture on Plant Health on Dec. 9. The topic for this year’s lecture — “Where do Abiotic and Biotic Stress Overlap?” — focused on research that could mitigate the impacts of climate change on abiotic and biotic stress in plants.

August 2020 graduate assistantships now available

December 12, 2019

Plant Pathology Graduate Research Assistantships beginning August 2020 are now available for highly-qualified applicants.

Mainello successfully defends thesis

December 12, 2019

Amanda Mainello successfully defended her thesis on December 11, 2019.

Inaugural interdisciplinary lecture to address abiotic, biotic health in plants

December 5, 2019

The Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State will host an inaugural lecture on research that could help mitigate the impacts of climate change on abiotic and biotic stress in plants.