Dr. Bonnie H. Ownley is a professor of plant pathology in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She received her B.S. in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.S. in microbiology from Auburn University, Alabama, and Ph.D. in plant pathology, with a minor in soil science, from North Carolina State University, Raleigh. She was a postdoctoral research fellow with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service, in the Root Disease and Biological Control Research Unit at Pullman, Washington, and a visiting plant pathologist in the Plant Pathology Department at Washington State University before joining the faculty at the University of Tennessee.
Dr. Ownley's research and teaching programs are focused on the etiology, biology, ecology, and environmentally sustainable control of plant pathogens on a variety of food, fiber, and biofuels crops. Her work in biological control of plant diseases is recognized internationally. She has published more than 120 research papers, book chapters, conference proceedings, and popular press articles and has received numerous grants from the USDA, state agencies, private industry, and commodity groups to support her research, teaching, and outreach projects.
Dr. Ownley is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. She is a dedicated teacher and strong proponent of experiential and service learning. Her teaching portfolio includes graduate courses on mycology, phytobacteriology, and soilborne plant pathogens. She has mentored and trained 19 graduate students and served on the research committees of more than 40 additional students. Her teaching has extended beyond the university to include multiple biotechnology workshops for middle and high school teachers across the State of Tennessee and experiential learning summer programs for middle and high school students.
Dr. Ownley has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for her research, teaching, and academic outreach programs, as well as service to the university and community. She has served in leadership roles for the American Phytopathological Society and as Senior Editor for Phytopathology. She is currently President-Elect of the Faculty Senate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her service to the university has been wide-ranging, including multiple search committees, program initiatives, policy development, unit reviews, and strategic planning. Dr. Ownley has worked to improve the workplace and learning environment for faculty, students, and staff through her service to the university from the department to the system level. Having often been the only woman at the table in the early part of her career, she is committed to eliminating bias and discrimination and educating others that inclusion of underrepresented minorities and women will multiply the possibilities and improve the innovation, creativity, civility, and sense of community of the organization.
Dr. Robert N. Trigiano received his B.S. degree with an emphasis in Biology and Chemistry from Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania in 1975 and an M.S. in Biology (Mycology) from the Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, in 1977. He was an Associate Research Agronomist working with mushroom culture and plant pathology for Green Giant Co., Le Sueur, Minnesota until 1979 and then a Mushroom Grower for Rol-Land Farms, Ltd., Blenheim, Ontario, Canada during 1979 and 1980. He completed a Ph.D. in Botany and Plant Pathology (co-majors) at North Carolina State University at Raleigh in 1983. After concluding postdoctoral work in the Plant and Soil Science Department at the University of Tennessee, he was appointed an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design at the same university in 1987, promoted to Associate Professor in 1991 and to Professor in 1997. He served as Interim Head of the Department from 1999- 2001. He then joined the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee in 2002 and was Interim Head from 2012-2013.
Dr. Trigiano is a member of the American Phytopathological Society (APS), and the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) and the honorary societies of Gamma Sigma Delta, Sigma Xi, and Phi Kappa Phi. He received the T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award (The University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture) and the Gamma Sigma Delta Research individual and team Award of Merit at the University of Tennessee. He is the recipient of the publication awards for the most outstanding educational and ornamental papers in ASHS and the Southern region ASHS L. M. Ware distinguished research award. In 2006, he was elected Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science. Bob was awarded the B. Otto and Kathleen Wheeley Award of Excellence in Technology Transfer and founder and manager of Creative Agricultural Technologies, LLC by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation in 2007. He has been an editor for the Plant Disease, ASHS journals, Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, Plant Cell Reports and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences. Additionally, he has co-edited eight books, including Plant Tissue Culture Concepts and Laboratory Exercises, Plant Pathology Concepts and Laboratory Exercises, and Plant Development and Biotechnology.
Dr. Trigiano has been the recipient of research grants from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Forest Service, Horticultural Research Institute, and from private industries and foundations. He has published more than 200 research papers, book chapters, patents and popular press articles. He teaches graduate courses in Scientific Writing and Mycology and has presented numerous workshops on English Scientific Writing in Germany, the Peoples Republic of China, and Brazil. His current research interests include molecular markers for breeding ornamental plants, population studies of pathogens and native plants, diseases of ornamental plants, somatic embryogenesis and micropropagation of ornamental species.
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