Jessica Franco: DEBVBD Graduate Student Travel Award
Jessica Franco, a fourth year graduate student in Dr. Gitta Coaker’s lab, will be attending the International Research Conference on Huanglongbing (HLB) in Orlando, FL with support from the DEBVBD Graduate Student Travel Award. HLB is a devastating bacterial disease of citrus vectored by the Asian citrus psyllid. HLB researchers and citrus growers will attend the meeting and discuss concerns, methods, and findings to improve pathogen detection, vector control and disease resistance. Jessica will give an oral presentation focusing on her research on HLB. Jessica has sampled a large number of Navels in both greenhouse and field experiments to identify dynamically changing citrus proteins in response to infection. She has identified secreted citrus proteases that are upregulated during infection. She has performed activity profiling and identified a subclass of these proteases whose activity may be inhibited by the HLB pathogen. This work has the potential to significantly enhance our understanding of how this pathogen manipulates citrus to cause HLB.
To see what other people signed up to bring, click here
Congratulations to the following winners of this year’s Graduate Student Awards. The awardees were selected by the department’s Publicity and Awards Committee based on evaluation of candidates’ statements and supporting letters from their major professors.
The James and Mary DeVay Travel Award goes to Betsy Alford
The Lyle Leach Memorial Travel Awards go to DongHyuk Lee and Furong Liu
Erna and Orville Thompson Travel Award goes to Li-Hung Chen
The Harley English-Edward Butler Travel Award (sponsored by Jesse and Gloria Dubin) goes to Jennifer Yuzon
The Irving Schneider Travel Awards go to Wenjie Qiao and Minor Maliano
In addition to the above awards, four one-quarter graduate student research assistantships were awarded.
The William J. Moller Scholarship goes to Peter Henry.
DongHyuk Lee received the Erna and Orville Thompson Scholarship.
Betsy Alford and Tyler Bourret received William Hewitt Scholarships.
Richard Cobb, post-doc with David Rizzo, is leading a study aimed at developing restoration treatments for forests degraded by sudden oak death. Like other invasive species, forest pathogens damage the resources provided by forests. These impacts include reduced water quality and carbon sequestration as well as increased fuel loading and fire risk. Along with managers at the Marin Municipal Water District, Susan Frankel at the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, and Pete Hartsough (UC Davis – LAWR) Cobb and Rizzo are designing treatments that simultaneously improve water, carbon storage, and reduce fire risk.
“This is a really cool collaboration, we’re working directly with managers and operations crews to learn about the ecology of these forests. At the same time we’re finding cost effective ways to deal with disease impacts,” said Cobb during an interview with NBC Bay Area reporter Mark Mathews. “Its a mistake to ignore these forest simply because they are already invaded by Phytophothora ramorum, the pathogen that causes Sudden Oak Death. The disease has created hazardous fuels conditions and we need to understand how to deal with this in the context of continued disease.”
The study uses 30 acres of experimental treatments along with pre and post treatment measurements and operational costs to develop a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. Over the next three years Cobb and colleagues will conduct a detailed assessment of changes in carbon sequestration, water quality, and reestablishment of overstory trees. An experimental planting with Sudden Oak Death resistant trees will be conducted in half of the study area during fall 2015. Within the water district well over 10,000 acres have been impacted by the disease but hundreds of thousands of acres have been similarly impacted by the disease in coastal California. This study will help understand the trade-offs wrapped up in management of these forests across a broad area.
See the full story and video on NBC’s website
Susan Moenga, a Plant Biology Grad Group student and member of Doug Cook’s lab, has just received a USAID graduate school fellowship that will cover the majority of her costs for 4 years. Michigan State, which runs the fellowship program, has granted Susan this fellowship. Congrats, Susan!
Congrats to department members Stephen Joseph Bolus, Wenjie Qiao, Kellee Heather Britt, Li-Hung Chen, Robin Choudhury, Kelley Rose Paugh, Abbie Seidle, Sandra Mosquera, and Lorena Beatriz Parra for becoming the Jastro-Shields Awardees!