From left to right: Dr. Rebecca Trout Fryxell, Sarah Boggess, Dr. Kimberly Gwinn, Dr. Ernest Bernard, Dr. Denita Habdziabdic Guerry, Arlene King, Dr. Jerome Grant, Mary Dee, Dr. Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes, Dr. Marcin Nowicki, Kimberly Campbell

Thank You, EPP First-Gens!!

Being the first in your family to attend college has its own trials and tribulations to overcome because when it comes to figuring out college, you’re often on your own. That’s why being a first-generation student is something to be proud of! We want to take a special moment to congratulate the first-gens in our department who kicked college’s butt and got to where they are today. Thank you for being first-gen and thank you for being a part of EPP! If you would like to read a personal experience from one of our first gens, Shelly Pate– a Graduate Research Assistant and Masters student in our department– wrote an inspiring read the other day. I encourage you to check…

Shelly Pate holding a poster demonstrating the distribution of 100 seedlings with various different fungal pathogens

Shelly Pate: What Being First-Generation Means to Me

National First-Generation College Student Celebration Being First-Generation is beautiful and provides a unique perspective, and our department is teeming with first-generation students and faculty. To showcase this personally, we wanted to feature one of our students’ thoughts. Shelly Pate is a Graduate Research Assistant who is working on her Masters with a concentration in Plant Pathology and is currently stationed at the West TN Research & Education Center. She is also a First-Generation College Student and wanted to share her experience: As an only child, I have always received an abundant amount of love, support, and guidance. However, when the time came to start applying to colleges as an undergraduate, I realized something was starting to become a little different.…

A grandpa panicking as a rose-haired tarantula climbs atop his head, while his granddaughter stares at him with curiosity

Ag Day 2019

The Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology Crawling to the Top at Ag Day Every year, the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Agriculture hosts an event that encompasses agriculture, tailgating, and Big Orange spirit. While Ag Day includes many departments, none of them quite leave the same impression as ours does. The photo above has Rosie, Dr. Grant’s rose-haired tarantula, trying to get a peek at the festivities. Check out the other photos to see our team represent UT spirit:  

EPP Graduate Student Honored as Tennessee Doctoral Fellow

Julian Cosner, a Ph.D. student in EPP, is one of five PhD students recently honored as Tennessee Doctoral Fellows. Tennessee Doctoral Fellows are chosen every three years; this is only the second group of fellows at UT. The fellowships are funded by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and UT’s Graduate School. Congratulations, Julian! For more information, please see UT News here.

Nourolah Soltani receives the Myron K. Brakke Student Travel Award from APS

The American Phytopathological Society (APS) announces that Nourolah Soltani received the Myron K. Brakke Student Travel Award to supports his travel to the APS meeting in Cleveland, OH. Mr. Soltani was also awarded support for travel from the Plant Research Center and the Graduate Student Senate. At the meeting, he will present two posters on the quinoa-Cucumber mosaic virus interaction.

Nourolah Soltani Poster Featured in Pendergrass Library

The poster created by Nourolah Soltani was chosen for display by Pendergrass Library as an example of the #betterposter approach. Research on the impact of infection of quinoa by Cucumber mosaic virus on expression of genes regulating terpene biosynthesis is described in the poster. Nourolah will present the poster at the American Phytopathological Society meeting in Cleveland (Aug. 3- 7). Dr. Meg Staton, and Dr. Kimberly Gwinn are also authors on the poster.

Close-up of an emerald-green native bee digging into a purple flower for pollen and nectar

Dr. Russo Awarded Early Career Robert May Prize from British Ecological Society

The Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE) Robert May early career researcher award is named after Lord May, from the University of Oxford. The prize is awarded annually to the best paper submitted by an early career author at the start of their research career. The winning paper: Laura Russo, Adam D. Miller, John Tooker et al. Quantitative evolutionary patterns in bipartite networks: Vicariance, phylogenetic tracking or diffuse co-evolution? Methods Ecol Evol 2018, 9:3. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12914   Here is excerpt from BSE: Dr. Laura Russo led work to develop a framework that can incorporate species traits or behaviours to investigate diffuse evolutionary patterns within ecological communities, using plant-pollinator interactions as a case study. The study of interactions and their impacts…

Our EPP undergraduates proudly presenting their EUReCA awards

Three Students Working in EPP Win at EUReCA Competition!

Congratulations to all the Herbert winners at the Exhibit of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement. Forty three students presented 31 projects at the fair. Three students working in EPP were winners at the competition. Marlo Black, an Animal Science major, won the EUReCA Gold Medal for her work, “A Survey of Domestic Hosts of Cimex lectularius in an Urban Setting.” She was also the first place winner in the Herbert College of Agriculture competition. Her mentors were Dr. Karen Vail and Dr. Becky Trout Fryxell in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Two students who were in the Herbert College competition of EUReCA won the 3-minute to Win It Video contest. Leah Dunlap (Plant Science) won the juried competition…

Graduate Student Ratnasri Mallipeddi Wins Award at ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting

Ratnasri Mallipeddi took first place in the student competition for President’s Prize for her presentation in the Physiology Biochemistry and Toxicology section 2 at the 2018 ESA, ESC, and ESBC Joint Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada. The title of her talk was “Biochemical and transcriptome characterization of the cellulolytic system in Thermobia domestica for identification of novel enzymes with industrial applications.” The presentation was co-authored by Brian Johnson, William Klingeman, Margaret Staton, and Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes. According to Dr. Jurat-Fuentes, “Ratnasri’s research has not only resulted in the discovery of a wide array of new plant cell wall degrading enzyme (PCWDE) genes from very primitive insects that may have applications to increase efficacy of ethanol biofuel production, but more importantly…