Pest Management


In Ecuador, PhD. student Freddy Magdama is studying the genetic diversity of
the  fungus Fusarium oxysporum associated with Panama Disease in banana. His
research also involves the role of endophytic interactions and the study of
effectors molecules linked to  pathogenicity.  His research involves
collaboration with the National Secretariat of Education of Ecuador (SENESCYT)
and the High Polytechnic School (ESPOL ). His work is under the supervision of
Dr. Maria del Mar Jimenez-Gasco and partially funded by the department of Plant
Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State.


Ariel Rivers, Ph.D. student in Entomology and International Agriculture and Development, is currently working on her dissertation on arthropod diversity preservation in conservation agricultural systems in Pennsylvania and Mexico.  Analyzing agricultural practices such as crop rotation, tillage, mulching and other practices, Ariel hopes to answer how these methods protect against crop damage from certain insects by increasing the numbers of predatory arthropods.  In addition to partnering with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, she has received grants from the North East Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education (NESARE) Program and the Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program to facilitate the completion of the project.  Early observations indicate that crop rotations and mulching in both locations augment beneficial arthropods and held disrupt pest cycles.