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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Biocomplexity Institute

Across the world, the tomato leafminer is wreaking havoc on agricultural producers. The relentless march of these pests inspired a team of Virginia Tech researchers to apply new methods of modeling and simulation previously used in infectious disease research to halt their spread. A new USAID grant will help them do just that.

The tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, is an innocuous-looking moth, easily hidden by the burgeoning foliage of young tomato plants. But once the eggs of the moth hatch, the larvae tunnel through the plants’ leaves, quickly giving a once green, productive field a scorched appearance. In Europe, West and Central Africa, and the Middle East, these pests have caused 50 percent to 100 percent crop loss since their accidental introduction to Europe in 2006.

“Entomologists normally use CLIMEX, a software modeling program that estimates the geographical distribution of an insect, and insect life tables, an analysis of an insect’s life cycle, to theorize how an insect will spread,” said Muni Muniappan, entomologist and director of the agricultural development program that is managing the grant. “But the Biocomplexity Institute is introducing human movement into the equation. This is a new angle.”

Managing these insects is not as simple as spraying insecticides. Virginia Tech’s Integrated Pest Management Innovation Lab works to provide solutions to farmers of developing nations using integrated pest management techniques that take into account the long-term health of people and ecosystems, as well as sustainable agricultural productivity.

However, halting the incredibly fast spread of these pests can be very difficult. Thus, researchers are turning to computational modeling in an effort to better understand when and where the insects will appear next. Using agent-based models in a novel approach, the research team will incorporate multiple data sources and find the most significant factors in the spread of these insects.

In the tomato leafminer study, the research team will view pest dynamics as an integrated biological, informational, social, and technical system consisting of several interacting models. This interaction-based approach is aimed at capturing the complexity of pest dynamics.

A key feature of this approach is understanding how humans hasten the speed at which pests spread. This includes not only human mobility but also supply chain infrastructures used to move goods across continents. These systems can have unintended side effects, one of which is the spread of invasive pests. This study will lead to a much better understanding of how human systems contribute to the spread of pest infestation.

“Our model will be an extremely useful tool for risk analysts, domain experts, and policy makers to develop strategies to combat these pests. Further, the methodology will not be limited to studying the tomato leafminer, but can be applied to any agricultural invasive species,” said Abjijin Adiga, research faculty member at the Biocomplexity Institute.

Published by Tiffany Trent, April 05, 2016

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Former Director Planning & Head Plant Pathology, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Dr M P Srivastava has been honored with “IPS Recognition Award 2014” in recognition of his contribution to the growth of Indian Phytopathological Society (IPS), and more importantly services rendered towards society in mitigating crop losses due to plant pests. The award was given by former Director General Indian Council of Agricultural research, Dr V.L. Chopra by presenting him a shawl, Memento and Certificate of Excellence during 6th International Conference organized by Indian Phytopathological Society at its 68th Annual Convention at the NAAS Complex, New Delhi 23-27 Feb 2016. Dr Srivastava is a legend in the area of Transfer of Technology and Plant Health Clinics. During the conference, Dr Srivastava presented a paper “Overdependence on pesticides could be hazardous to man and environment.” While elaborating the advantages of pesticides in pest management, he cautioned that over-enthusiasm in pesticide application could lead to hazards; hence their misuse and abuse needs to be avoided, and instead of keeping pesticides at bay, make them as integral component of IPM modules. In epiphytotics they may provide respite. Dr Srivastava also chaired the Session on “Plant Health Clinic” with Dr Khan from NDU, USA as Co-chair and Eris Tzamos from Athens, Greece as lead speaker among others.
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Dr Srivastava in the centre receiving award from Dr VL Chopra (holding the trophy), former Director General ICAR

Dr. Srivastava is credited with delivering two Keynote Address, 1) in 8th International Congress of Plant Pathology (8th IPPC2003) at Christchurch in 2003; and 2) in 10th ICPP2013 in Beijing, besides organizing an Evening Session on Plant Health Clinic (PHC) during 9th ICPP2008 in Turin, Italy. Another global giant the International Plant Protection Congress honored him to chair a Session on 1) Transfer of Technology, 2) to act as Convener of Plant Health Clinic in Urban Horticulture and 3) delivering a lecture on Plant Health Clinic. He has also been invited by several other organizations to deliver keynote addresses in Hyderabad, India in October 2014 and Las Vegas in June 2015 besides Kerala Planning Board inviting him in Feb 2013 to present a lead paper on feasibility of establishing Plant Health clinic in 12th Plan at district level in Kerala state. In recognition of his contribution, Dr Srivastava has been honored with several awards, which include Best Extension Scientist National Award 1996, Man of the Year 1998 Award from US, International Technological Achievement Award, Dr Radhakrishnan Gold Medal Award, National Pride Award- “Life-Time Achievement Award”, Dr APJ Gold Medal Award and Fellowship of National Academy of Sciences in 1988, amongst others. Dr Srivastava even after his retirement in 2002 offers online diagnosis and advisory to growers on management of plant diseases through his web portal http://www.xsgrowth.com .free of cost, as a passion to help the growers.

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feed the future logo-feed-the-future

Ubaldo Sagastume in his coffee field

Partnering for Innovation
Country: Honduras
Award period:April 2015 – January 2017
Website: http://www.zamorano.edu
With foreign markets requiring reductions in the use of chemicals, there is great demand for biological solutions to pest management. Zamorano University will promote the use of beneficial nematodes instead of traditional pesticides to control insect infestations in select horticultural crops. Through scale-up of their biocontrol laboratory, Zamorano will produce and sell 20 times as many doses of beneficial nematodes over the previous year. Small producers will be able to access this biocontrol at a much lower cost than a synthetic chemical product throughout the western departments of Honduras.

Outcome: 9,000 hectares of smallholder land will use biological pest control. In addition, Zamorano will sell through a commercial partner to build a sustainable distribution channel in the country.

See: http://partneringforinnovation.org/program-zamorano-university.aspx

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IMustapha KSU248hessfly_adultHessian Fly

Mustapha El-Bouhssini (MS ’86, PhD ’92) Aleppo, Syria, is a global authority on plant resistance to insects in grains and has worked to develop crop varieties resistant to several important arthropod pests.

He recently received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the International Branch of the Entomological Society of America for significant contributions to entomological research.

El-Bouhssini serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Entomology. This position has helped initiate collaborative projects between K-State and ICARDA on Hessian fly genetics and resistance in barley to the Russian wheat aphid.

From the KSU AgReport Spring 2015

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Mike smith  KSU251

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Conference travel report submitted by Dr. Deena Errampalli, President, Canadian Phytopathological Society. E-mail:Deena.errampalli@agr.gc.ca

Deena E

Over 1,500 delegates from 45 countries attended the symposia, workshops, 4 plenary lectures and 35 technical sessions on the management and control of diseases of crops at the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) joint meeting in Minneapolis, MN, USA from August 10-13, 2014. Seventy delegates from Canada attended the meeting. Rick Bennett, the APS President–Elect and the APS Annual Meetings Program Chair, and Deena Errampalli, CPS President-Elect and the CPS Programs Chair were members of the APS-CPS joint meeting program planning committee. The theme of the meeting was “Plant Health Connections.”

Errampalli was invited to the 2014 APS Presidential Meeting of Plant Pathology Organizations and APS International Society Relations Committee (ISRC), where she met with presidents or representatives of plant pathology societies from Australasia, China, International society, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Mexico, South Africa and USA. They discussed the issues that are important each of the societies and how to develop ways to foster collaborations among the sister societies of plant pathology. Errampalli believes that it is an important initiative.

EFPP Board conf org committee Deena  Sept 8 2014-1

Representatives from plant pathology societies from Australasia, Canada,
Japan, Latin America, Mexico, Brazil and USA.

One of the plenary lectures was the Glenn Anderson Lectureship Award on security of world food supply (http://phytopath.ca/glenn_anderson.shtml). Dr. Jennifer Thomson (http://web.uct.ac.za/org/sawise/RoleModels/rolethomson.htm) of the University of Cape Town in South Africa presented the lecture and her lecture entitled “Genetically Modified Crops for Africa: Healthy Plants and Healthy Bodies” was well received. The CPS and APS jointly sponsored the lecture.

Errampalli organized the lecture and gave an introduction to GA lecture at the plenary session on August 11, 2014. APS and CPS members participated as co-moderators of technical sessions, organizers of workshops, and contributed to technical sessions by presenting talks and posters. One of the advantages of joint meetings is opportunities for networking with colleagues from both societies to develop new collaboration, and hope many did just that. It was a busy meeting for Errampalli as the Incoming President; in addition to attending meetings of the CPS Financial Advisory Committee, Outgoing Board, Incoming Board, Special Members and Annual members meetings, she was invited to participate in some of APS committee meetings. Also, Errampalli presented two posters and moderated a session. Deena was honoured to present a talk on ‘how to be a successful professional’ to more than 50 graduate students at the First Timers Session (by invitation only). Interestingly, this was her 30th anniversary of home coming to APS, as she joined the society as a graduate student (Oklahoma State University) and attended the APS meeting as a first timer in 1984. Deena said, “it was my turn to give back and I was happy to do so”.

EFPP conf award winners

The CPS honoured scientists who have made important contributions to plant pathology in Canada: Dr. Denis Gaudet of Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge was the recipient of the award of CPS Fellow and his award will be presented at the 2015 awards ceremony. The award for Outstanding Research was received by Dr. Richard Belanger, Université Laval, Québec. Dr. Zie Feng, Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, Edmonton received the Outstanding Young Scientist Award. The award of Achievements in Plant Disease Management award was received by the Club Root Mitigation Team, comprised of Stephen Strelkov, Gary Peng, Sheau-Fang Hwang, Bruce Gossen, Mary Ruth McDonald, Ron Howard, and Clint Jurke. Graduate student travel awards, scholarships to several graduate students of plant pathology were presented. Congratulations to all!

The conference concluded with the final night celebration of good food, fellowship, networking and dancing with the APS, CPS and international plant pathologists. A group of CPS and APS members have literally organized a CPS-APS joint lecture initiative for 2015 at this party, which shows net-working and face to face meetings work beautifully!

Dr. Deena Errampalli took office of the President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS) on August 10, 2014 at the APS-CPS joint meeting in Minneapolis, MN, USA. Deena has served as Vice President (2012-13) and President Elect (2013-14) and she will serve as President for one year (2014-15). Deena has been a member of APS since 1984 and CPS since 1992 and has served as the Secretary of the CPS Executive Board from 2003-2007. Since 2007, she has been the Section Editor of Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, a journal of CPS.

The Canadian Phytopathological Society Inc. (CPS), founded in 1929, is a professional organization dedicated to creating and sharing knowledge of plant pathology in Canada and throughout the world. The objective of CPS is to encourage and support research and education in plant pathology, to promote public awareness of the importance of plant diseases and of the socio-economic benefits of controlling them, and to act as a forum for discussion of policies and strategies affecting all aspects of research and education in plant pathology in Canada. The current membership of CPS is 300 and the society publishes peer- reviewed journal, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. In addition, CPS publishes books, Diseases of field crops and Diseases of pests of vegetable crops in Canada. CPS holds annual scientific meetings in Canada and meets with APS once in every 5-8 years and with Plant Canada once in every 4 years. More information can be found at http://phytopath.ca/

 

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Former Director Planning and Professor & Head Plant Pathology of CCS Haryana agricultural University, Dr M P Srivastava has been conferred with National Glory Award (Rashtriya Gaurav Award), in recognition his life-time outstanding contribution and exemplary services to the Nation on Plant Healthcare for Food Security through popularization of Plant Clinic and innovation-driven Transfer of Technology .The award was presented by former Governor of Tamil Nadu & Union Minister, Shri Bhishma Narayan Singh at a glittering function on November 24th, 2014 at India International Centre, New Delhi. Earlier recipients of the award include Mother Teresa, amongst others.

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Dr. M.P. Srivastava receiving the award from Dr Bhishma Narain Singh, Former Governor

Dr Srivastava, is renowned extension pathologist and global expert in plant clinic who has been honored with several awards and honors for empowering farmers with innovative technology for increasing productivity and mitigating losses, which include; Fellowship of National Academy of Sciences 1988, Extension Scientist National Award 1996, Man of the Year Award 1998 (USA), and International Technological Achievement Award 2014 amongst others. He has been invited by several International Congresses to deliver keynote addresses in New Zealand (2003) Italy (2008) and Beijing (2013) besides plenary/invited lecture in India, Beijing (1999, 2000), Singapore (2005), Italy (2008), Germany (2009) amongst others to share his concept to strengthen food security. He was a lead speaker and Advisor in a Workshop organized by Kerala Planning Board for stating Plant clinic in 12th plan in Feb 2013 and a Keynote Speaker in 3rd international Conference organized in Hyderabad 25-28 November 2014.
At 72 years old Dr Srivastava,  even after his retirement 12 years ago, he is engaged in offering online diagnostic and advisory support to farmers free of cost through his website www.xsgrowth.com

The International Association of Plant Protection Sciences (IAPPS) congratulates Dr Srivastava and hope he will continue to help the growers in protecting their crops from onslaught of diseases and other pests.

E. A. “Short” Heinrichs

IAPPS Secretary General

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