UGA Plant Pathology Blog

Seven Students Graduate UGA Plant Pathology in 2016

Seven students fulfilled requirements for graduate degrees in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia (UGA) during 2016.

Jeff Delong completed an M.S. degree under the direction of Marin Brewer and James Buck.  His thesis was entitled “Mining the Uromyces transversalis genome for molecular markers and investigating genetic diversity of the Gladiolus rust fungus”.  Jeff was the recipient of the APS Efrat Gamliel-Atinsky Student Travel Award and the Cedric Kuhn Outstanding M.S. Student Award in the Department of Plant Pathology.  Jeff has joined Rachel Naegele’s research group for Crop Diseases, Pests and Genetics Research at the USDA-ARS in Parlier, CA.



Robert Emmitt received an M.S. degree while working under the direction of James Buck on a thesis project titled “Management of daylily rust with different fungicides, fungicide combinations, and spray intervals and the determination of fungicide sensitivity profiles for Puccinia hemerocallidis.”  Robert is now employed with Agdia in Elkhart, IN.




Anna Watson-Selph defended her Ph.D. dissertation “Prevention and detection of sour skin of onion (Allium cepa) by crop rotation, micronutrient manipulation, and volatile compound detection” under the guidance of Ron Gitaitis.  She is currently a Lab Manager with the Department of Plant Pathology at the UGA Tifton campus.


Stephanie Bolton completed her Ph.D. degree under the direction of Anthony Glenn and Phil Brannen.  Her dissertation entitled “Assessment of mycotoxigenic fungi and mycotoxins in the Vitis vinifera wine industry of the southeastern United States” investigated fungi isolated from Vitis vinifera vineyards in the southeastern United States and surveyed mycotoxins in red wine.  Stephanie was awarded a Love Learning Award from Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, the American Wine Society Education Foundation Scholarship (twice), and a Global Program Graduate International Travel Award. She was also recognized as the Kenneth E. Papa Outstanding Ph.D. Student in the Department of Plant Pathology.  Stephanie is currently working as the Grower Communications & Sustainable Winegrowing Director at the Lodi Winegrape Commission.


Haoxi Li defended his Ph.D. dissertation under the guidance of Marin Brewer.  His research was entitled “Population biology, fungicide resistance, and mating system of gummy stem blight fungi in the southeastern United States.”  Haoxi was awarded two APS Student Travel Awards, the Efrat Gamiel-Atinsky Student Travel Award in 2014 and the Donald E. Munnecke Student Travel Award in 2016.  He is currently pursuing a faculty position in the area of Plant Pathology in China.




Three students within the UGA Plant Pathology graduate program completed the Masters in Plant Protection and Pest Management (M. P. P. P. M.) degree, a professional, non-thesis program that produces graduates with comprehensive, multidisciplinary training in integrated management of insect, plant disease, and weed pests of agricultural commercial, and home commodities.  Juan Manuel Torres worked under the guidance of Jean Williams-Woodward to complete an internship in the UGA Plant Pathology Disease Clinic.  He is currently employed as an assistant agronomist with Bland Farms in south Georgia.  Rebecca Shirley worked with Tim Brenneman on an internship project titled “Evaluation of drying periods on residual fungicide levels in pecan leaves following simulated rainfall events.”  Joshua Neuman completed his degree requirements under the direction of Bhabesh Dutta.  His internship project was entitled “Report on experiments conducted to determine potential synergism between Meloidogyne incognita and Pythium aphanidermatum in watermelon.”  Joshua is currently a Ph.D. student at Oregon State University.