On August 29th, 2015, the LSU PPCP GSA welcomed our new graduate students with barbecued chicken, pork and sausage on the beautiful LSU Lakes. This fall, Filipe Godoy, Rachel Herschlag and Sergio Urioste joined the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology. Felipe Godoy orginially hails from Brazil, where he received a B.S. in Agronomy at Universidade Federal de Uberlandia. Felipe is working with nematodes for his master’s thesis with Dr. Charlie Overstreet. Rachel Herschlag completed her B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2015 at Tulane University in New Orleans, but she is from the great state of Pennsylvania. Rachel is starting on her master’s work and will continue into a Ph.D program with Dr. Rodrigo Valverde studying viruses. Sergio Urioste, from Bolivia, was a student at Zamarano in Honduras where he earned a B.S. in Environmental and Civil Engineering. Sergio is Dr. Vinson Doyle’s first graduate student at LSU and will be working with fungi for his master’s research. Thanks to Brian Ward and Teddy Garcia for organizing the bbq and to the numerous cooks including: Brian Ward, Sebastian Albu and Eduardo Chagas. Thanks to everyone else who brought snacky foods. We had a great turnout and an even better time. Welcome and let’s get busy!!!
On May 14th, 2015, Kiran Kaur Mani was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Health with a research focus in plant pathology at LSU’s Spring Commencement. Dr. Kaur studied with Dr. Hollier. Her disseration title was, “Study of factors affecting growth and development of narrow brown leaf spot of rice caused by Cercospora janseana.” She has already started at job CSP labs in Pleasant Grove, California, where she is working at a plant pathologist. Congratulations Dr. Kaur and the best of luck!!! Make LSU proud!!!
Master’s student, Ben NcInnes was honored at the LSU College of Agriculture Alumni Spring Awards Ceremony for receiving an assistantship sponsored by DuPont. The awards banquet was held at the Club on Union Square, formerly the Faculty Club on April 24th. He received the DuPont Crop Protection Assistantship to cover his research for 2 years at LSU. Ben’s thesis research, under the advisement of Dr. McGawley, will be investigating race differentiation of reniform nematodes. Congratulations to Ben, hopefully this will be the start of many sponsored assistantships awarded in our department.
We are happy to announce the graduate students have been awarded the first Departmental Plant Pathology Experiential Award from American Phytopathological Society!!! This award was established with money donated by Don and Judy Mathre. The purpose is to increase awareness of non-academic career opportunities to grad-students and post-docs through visits to such institutions. With the money, we will visit several companies and governmental agencies in California following our 2015 Annual APS meeting in Pasadena including: Seminis, Driscoll’s and the USDA. Additionally we will visit UC Riverside and Davis. This trip will be a great experience for our students, which will allow us to learn about different career choices and see plant pathogens on crops uncommonly grown in Louisiana including: raspberries, blackberries, grapes, treenuts, cruciforms, etc. A special thanks to Josi Rezende, Ally Lunos and Rebecca Sweany for writing the application materials. Thanks to Drs. Datnoff, Ivey and Schneider for editorial support.From previous trip, pictured in front of U Wisconsin Student Union 2014. Left to right: Josi Rezende, Rebecca Sweany, Ally Lunos, Yen Raruang, Sebastian Albu, Eduardo Chagas, and alum Tomas Rush
At the annual Southern Division American Phytopathological Society meeting in Atlanta (Feb 1&2, 2015), several students from LSU gave oral presentations and posters about their research. Eduardo Chagas gave an oral presentation discussing his observations of the association (or lack) of Cercospora soybean leaf blight symptoms with cercosporin. Maryam Shahrtash presented her findings using seed treatments on peppers and tomatoes to control several Xanthomonads. Rebecca Sweany discussed her findings of volatile interactions between separate cultures of Aspergillus flavus. Brian Ward presented more of his work looking into minor elements contributing to soybean resistance to rust and Cercospora leaf blight . Dongfang Hu presented a poster on her RNA-seq data looking into differential gene expression during infection with soybean rust. Everyone did a great job presenting their research! Graduate students, Sebastian Albu, Mary Helen Ferguson, Teddy Garcia and Ally Lunos were also in attendance. Our GSA advisor, Ray Schneider was awarded the Outstanding Plant Pathologist Award. We ran into former students including the current president of Southern Division, Nicole Ward-Gauthier, recent graduates Rebecca Melanson and Jake Fountain and not so recent graduate Baozhu Guo. All in all we had a nice meeting, learned more about plant pathology and met some new people.
LSU contingent at APS Southern Division. Back row starting from the left: Jake Fountain, Ray Schneider, Sebastian Albu, Teddy Garcia, Brian Ward, Melanie Ivey, Rebecca Sweany, Dongfang Hu, Maryam Shahrtash, Clayton Hollier, Baozhu Guo. Front row starting from the left: Nicole Ward-Gauthier, Mary Helen Ferguson, Lawrence Datnoff, Eduardo Chagas and Rebecca Melanson.
November’s edition of Phytopathology News includes an article (p. 154) by GSA president Rebecca Sweany, about the 2014 “Rollin’ Down the River” tour. (You’ll have to sign into the APS website to read the article.)