Jean Beagle Ristaino
Award: Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award
Institution: North Carolina State University
Dr. Ristaino is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor at NC State University. She works on the pathogen responsible for the Irish famine Phytophthora infestans. She studies modern and historic late blight outbreaks and her work tracked the migration of P. infestans from its ancestral home in the Andes to the US and Europe. Emergence of new Phytophthora species has increased due to agricultural activities and trade. In her Fulbright research she will deploy detection technology to detect P. infestans on potato and P. ramorum and P. kernoviae that have killed trees in Ireland. Archival letters and herbaria at the Glasnevin Botanic Gardens will be examined for information on 19th centurydisease outbreaks. She will also conduct museum talks, a Phytophthora diagnostic workshop for forestors, public lectures and work on a book called the “Potato plague” to connect this research with the public and the history of Ireland.