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PPPMB hosts Annual Meeting of the APS Northeastern Division

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Laura Morales receives Graduate Student Presentation Award (photo: Meg McGrath)

The 76th Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Division of The American Phytopathological Society (APS) was hosted by the SIPS Section of Plant Pathology and Plant Microbe Biology at Hotel Ithaca October 19-21.  APS regional meetings provide intimate venues where research can be presented and opportunities for APS members to meet, exchange ideas, and share information with area colleagues.

Program:

Presentations on Thursday kicked off with a symposium entitled “From Sequences to Disease Management: Taking what we learn at the Bench to the Field”, followed by talks given as part of the graduate student award competition.  Other program elements included presentations of contributed papers, tours of local destinations, career skills workshops, and ample opportunities for socializing.

Anthony Wenndt, PPPMB graduate student attending an APS meeting for the first time, commented, “I think the part of the meeting I appreciated most was the opportunity to engage with content that was specifically relevant to the landscapes and production contexts of the Northeastern region. It was clear that the attendees were deeply motivated to learn and apply locally-meaningful ideas – this was something I found to be quite inspiring!” Annie Kruse, also a first time APS attendee from PPPMB, added, “I think it was especially valuable for graduate students as we were able to interact more closely with visiting professors and students, and get to know the leaders of APS on a personal level. I was also amazed by the excellent questions and suggestions I received after my talk.”

A banquet and awards ceremony was held on Thursday evening with three Cornellians who have served as APS presidents in attendance –  Bill Fry, George Abawi, and current PPPMB Section Chair Gary Bergstrom.

Awardees:

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Megan Hall, co-recipient of the Graduate Student Presentation Award

Laura Morales (Section of Plant Breeding and Genetics) and Megan Hall (Section of Plant Pathology and Plant Microbe Biology) were co-recipients of the Graduate Student Presentation Award, with each receiving a $1000 travel scholarship.  Laura Morales, student in the program of Rebecca Nelson, presented on the topic “Variation in the Fusarium verticillioides -maize pathosystem and implications for sorting mycotoxin-contaminated maize grain”. Megan Hall, student in the program of Wayne Wilcox, gave a talk entitled “Towards a better understanding of the etiology and management of sour rot in grapes”.   Margaret McGrath, PPPMB faculty member at the Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center in Riverhead, NY was appointed as the new president of the APS Northeastern Division.

Congratulations to Laura, Megan, and Meg!

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