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Iowa State University Mourns Loss of Seed Pathologist Lisa Shepherd

Lisa enjoyed life to the fullest and excelled at helping others. She was a tireless champion for phytosanitary issues relating to seed health and was highly regarded by seed industry colleagues from around the world for her expertise in seed-borne diseases and plant pathology. Lisa possessed natural leadership ability and an infectious enthusiasm that benefited both Iowa State University and the seed industry.

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Dr Sally Mallowa and collaborators develop teaching and extension program in Africa

Dr. Sally Mallowa, who recently completed her PhD in the department studying with Dr. Alison Robertson, was recently involved in an effort to develop a teaching tool and extension workshop in Kenya and Uganda this summer. The team came from five different institutions, and was funded by a Global Experience Award from the APS Office of International Programs. The teaching component focused on developing a case study resource for learning about cassava brown streak virus disease (CBSD).

Tylka and Baum Earn Fellow Honors

Greg Tylka, plant pathology and microbiology, has been named a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. The honor will be presented at the APS annual meeting in Pasadena in August. Thomas Baum, chair plant pathology and microbiology, has been named a Fellow of the Society of Nematologists. The honor will be presented at the SON annual meeting in East Lansing in July.

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Baum to Receive This Year’s Noel T. Keen Award for Research Excellence from APS

Thomas Baum, chair of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, is this year’s recipient of the Noel T. Keen Award for Research Excellence in Molecular Plant Pathology from the American Phytopathological Society. The award recognizes scientists who have made outstanding contributions and demonstrated sustained excellence and leadership in research. Baum was cited for pioneering contributions that have greatly advanced the understanding and knowledge of the molecular interactions of nematodes with host plants.

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Morel mushroom certification workshops offered by Dr. Mark Gleason

Interested in hunting and selling morel mushrooms in Iowa? If so, plan to take this three-hour class in April from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and be certified to sell morel mushrooms legally within the state.  This course, taught by Dr. Mark Gleason, covers identification of morels and other mushrooms.  Agenda and registration information.

Baum lab hosts multi-state nematology meeting

The Baum lab recently hosted a meeting with research groups from several universities throughout the United States.   Our collaborative groups hold these meetings annually to discuss recent advances in the field of molecular plant-parasitic nematology.   Our groups work closely with one another, and meetings like these allow our groups to work more efficiently by bringing the researchers conducting the work together for productive discussions of progress being made in each lab, trouble-shooting and long-range planning.   The next meeting is scheduled for 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Microbiology students join in national hunt for future antibiotics

Microbiology 302L students taught by Claudia Lemper were part of a world-wide crowdsourcing project coordinated by Yale University.  The students searched the soil from the ISU campus for antimicrobial producing organisms and identified them using microbiological tests and 16s rRNA sequencing.  The antimicrobial compounds were tested to determine which pathogenic organisms they might be effective agains.

Steve Whitham uses robotics to understand plant growth

ISU researchers are developing a new facility that will use a specially designed robot to gather unprecedented amounts of data on the growth of plants under different environmental conditions. Steven Whitham, plant pathology and microbiology, is the primary investigator. Stephen Howell, genetics, development and cell biology, and Lie Tang, agricultural and biosystems engineering, are collaborating.

XB Yang addresses the effect economic globalization has on plant pathology

XB Yang was invited by Brazilian Phytopathological Society to address at the opening session of their 47th Congress which was held in August 16-21 in Londrina, Brazil.   Title of his talk was "Future Impact of a globalized economy on Plant Pathology in North and South America".  Dr. Yang also gave a plenary speech at opening session of 10th International Congress of Plant Pathology last year, in which he addressed how globalized economy would shape our profession for countries with different levels of economic development.

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Gwyn Beattie Attends Microbial Research Panel

Gwyn Beattie recently fielded questions about research involving new microbials that improve crop yields. In test plots, these microbials increased crop yields by as much as 10 percent. The research is part of a collaboration between Monsanto and Novozymes called the BioAg Alliance, which aims to increase crop production while improving resource management. Read more at The Gazette's website.

Microbiology Students Take Part in National Research Project

A group of 24 ISU students are participating in a research initiative focused on the issue of antibiotic resistance. The Small World Initiative, which includes 64 other universities from around the globe, is sponsored by the Yale University Center for Scientific Teaching. Claudia Lemper, faculty lecturer in the ISU microbiology program, said the initiative is also an attempt to get students involved in their own research. Read more at the Ames Tribune.

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