- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Amer Fayad joined ANR on July 8, 2019 as director of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center. He is a plant pathologist focused on the identification, epidemiology, biological and molecular diversity of viruses, virus movement, interactions between viruses and plant virus resistance genes. and management of virus diseases. Fayad will provide overall leadership of the Western IPM Center, collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders to identify regional IPM needs and formulate strategies to address the issues. He will represent the Western IPM Center to other agencies at the state, regional and national levels to identify opportunities for collaboration.
From 2011 to 2019, Fayad served in several capacities at Virginia Tech. From 2016-2019, he was the associate director and the Africa program manager of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management, an $18 million program that advances IPM science and education and develops IPM technologies. He coordinated projects in East Africa and South Asia that identified and developed environmentally sound IPM strategies, prepared action plans, assessments, reports and publications.
Prior to that, Fayad, who is fluent in Arabic and French, taught biology at Notre Dame University in Lebanon. At the Citrus Research and Education Center at the University of Florida, Fayad conducted postdoctoral research.
He earned a Ph.D. in plant pathology, physiology, and weed science from Virginia Tech, a M.S. in crop protection and a B.S. in agriculture and a diploma of “Ingenieur Agricole” from the American University of Beirut.
Fayad is based at the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1271 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read a Q&A with Fayad at http://ipmwest.blogspot.com/2019/07/a-q-with-new-western-ipm-center.html.
Anna Otto is the new program coordinator in the statewide office for the Master Food Preserver (MFP) Program.
As UC Master Food Preserver coordinator, she will provide statewide support to the UC MFP Program, which operates in 17 counties with more than 400 certified volunteers. Her responsibilities include project management in office administration, event planning and meeting coordination, communications, marketing, training and fund development.
Before joining UC MFP on May 6, 2019, she spent the past 17 years as an adjunct professor of family and consumer science at Sacramento City College, where her courses focused on child and lifespan development.
Prior to teaching, Otto was a research associate for the 4-H Center for Youth Development in Davis. She is excited to be back working for UC Cooperative Extension.
Otto first learned about UC MFP Program this past fall, during a visit to the Arcata Farmer's Market. Since that time, she has attended their demonstrations and classes in Sacramento, Humboldt and El Dorado counties and learned about pressure canning, dehydrating, fermenting and making salsa.
Otto earned an M.S. in child development and a B.S. in dependent care management, both from UC Davis.
Otto is based in the ANR building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1382 and email@example.com.
The Pacific Division of the American Phytopathological Society recently honored Themis Michailides with their Lifetime Achievement Award. They presented him with the award on June 26 at their annual meeting in Fort Collins, Colo.
Michailides, a UC Davis plant pathologist based at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, is a leading authority in fungal fruit tree pathology and is nationally and internationally recognized for his innovative ecological, epidemiological, and disease management studies of devastating diseases of fruit and nut crops.
After intensive and multifaceted research on the panicle and shoot blight of pistachio caused by Botryosphaeria dothidea, a major disease that became an epidemic in 1995 to 1998 and threatening California's pistachio industry, he developed tools for successfully controlling the disease. For this outstanding research, the California pistachio industry awarded him a plaque engraved “Honoring 20 years of research excellence.”
Based on what they learned from the Bot of pistachio, Michailides and his colleagues expanded their research to Bot (or band) canker of almond and the Botryosphaeria/Phomopsis canker dieback and blight of walnut.
Michailides, who has been working at Kearney REC for 31 years, has also been doing pioneering research in understanding and managing aflatoxin contamination of pistachio and almond and has published more than 235 refereed articles.
He has also been active in the American Phytopathological Society, serving as a member or chair of various committees. Additionally, he has served as associate editor (1991–1993) and senior editor (1995—1997) of Plant Disease and senior editor (2006–2008) of Phytopathology. In 2011, he was named an APS Fellow. He has collaborated with international scientists in more than 10 countries. He served as APS Pacific Division president in 2012-2013.
Kern County Entomology Team wins WEDA Award of Excellence
For more than 15 years, the Kern County Entomology Team has helped growers respond to invasive insect pests that threaten California agriculture. Their efforts have been recognized with the Western Extension Director Association's Award of Excellence for 2019.
The Kern County Entomology Team is composed of David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and pest management farm advisor for Kern County; Jhalendra Rijal, UC IPM advisor for the Northern San Joaquin Valley; Emily Symmes, UC IPM advisor for Sacramento Valley; Robert Beede, UCCE farm advisor emeritus in Kings County; Stephanie Rill, UC Cooperative Extension staff research associate in Kern County; Robert Curtis, research director for the Almond Board of California, and Judy Zaninovich, director of the Consolidated Central Valley Table Grape Pest and Disease Control District.
The Kern County Entomology Team has implemented more than a dozen applied research and extension programs with documented impacts on top California commodities such as almonds, table grapes, pistachios, cherries and blueberries. Team members have organized Extension meetings, workshops, presentations, publications and media articles. The collaboration team consists of university professionals and agricultural producers. These collaborations led to reduced pesticide use, increased reliance on biological control, improved worker safety and increased farmer profitability on the more than $15 billion in agricultural commodities grown in the southern San Joaquin Valley.
Haviland accepted the award on behalf of the team on July 9 at the Western States Joint Summer Meeting in Albuquerque, NM. Haviland also gave a short presentation to the joint meeting of Western state extension directors, research station directors, agriculture and extension deans and CARET members.
The American Society of Animal Science presented its Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics to Alison Van Eenennaam, UCCE specialist in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science.
Van Eenennaam has developed an internationally recognized research program in animal breeding and genetics, with an emphasis on beef cattle. She conducts both basic lab and applied field research on subjects ranging from genome editing to validation of DNA tests, along with work to ensure regulatory policy allows access to innovative breeding technologies. She has delivered more than 600 presentations, translating her research to stakeholder groups with skill and passion.
She received the award July 10 at the 2019 American Society of Animal Science and Canadian Society of Animal Science annual meeting held in Austin, Texas.
Georgios Vidalakis, professor and UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Microbiology and Plant Pathology Department at UC Riverside, has been named Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection. The position will enable Vidalakis, a plant pathologist, to continue doing research that improves citrus production and quality in California.
A $1 million endowment fund for this work was established by the state's Citrus Research Board with funds matched by the UC President. It will support Vidalakis for the next five years as he helps develop diagnostic tools and therapies for citrus pathogens.
Vidalakis is director of the UC Citrus Clonal Protection Program, or CCPP, which is a collaborative program between the UCR Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, the CA Department of Food and Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and California's citrus industry.
The Citrus Research Board provides the CCPP with assessment funds from the $3.4 billion California citrus industry. The CCPP maintains more than 450 varieties free from diseases. – Jules Bernstein
UC ANR held a seminar for credentialed journalists on the first day of the World Ag Expo in Tulare. The Feb. 9 seminar featured 11 key UC ANR academics who serve as expert sources for the news media on hot topics.
The seminar was hosted by VP Glenda Humiston. Each of the UCCE advisors and specialists delivered a three-minute synopsis of his or her research and outreach efforts in California, such as the spread of Asian citrus psyllid, adapting to climate change in agriculture, GMOs and more. Afterwards, they fielded questions from the reporters.
“The Newsmakers Seminar was well-attended and well-received by reporters so we plan on hosting a similar event at next year's World Ag Expo,” said Jeannette Warnert, senior public information representative in Strategic Communications, who spearheaded the seminar. “In the fall, we will be looking for academics who are interested in building relationships with reporters to take part in the 2017 event.”
Agricultural trade reporters filed stories on several of the subjects and exchanged business cards with the scientists for future reference. The Kaweah Commonwealth newspaper published two stories by John Elliott about the seminar: On the cutting edge of agriculture: World Ag Expo's Newsmakers Seminar reveals current research and Newsmakers' Seminar reveals current research, Part 2.
The following academics participated in the seminar:
- Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in citrus entomology and director of the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center
- Jeff Dahlberg, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in agronomic crops and director of the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
- Bob Hutmacher, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in cotton and director of the UC West Side Research and Extension Center
- Lindsay Jordan – UC ANR Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor for Merced, Mariposa and Madera counties
- Rose Hayden-Smith, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor, editor of the UC Food Observer blog, part of UC President Janet Napolitano's Global Food Initiative
- Themis Michailides, Ph.D. – UC ANR pathology researcher, based at Kearney Ag REC
- Jeff Mitchell, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in conservation agriculture, based at Kearney Ag REC
- Toby O'Geen, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in soil resources, based at UC Davis
- Tapan Pathak, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in climate change adaptation in agriculture, based at UC Merced
- Maurice Pitesky, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in poultry food safety, based at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
- Alison Van Eenennaam, Ph.D. – UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist in animal biotechnology, based at UC Davis