OSU agricultural expert named fellow of AAAS


CORVALLIS - Chris Mundt, a professor of botany and plant pathology at Oregon State University and a leading expert on the sustainable cultivation of wheat, rice, potatoes and other crops, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

This honor was made to 348 scientists across the nation this year by members of the AAAS, for efforts in science or its applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. The AAAS was founded in 1848 and is the world's largest general federation of scientists, working to advance science through projects, programs and publications in science policy, science education, and international scientific cooperation.

Mundt was recognized for his "extensive and profound contributions to the field of plant disease epidemiology with application toward sustainable agriculture, including increased yield paired with decreased pesticide use," officials of the organization said.

Mundt conducts research on plant disease epidemiology, host plant resistance, population genetics of plant pathogens, and sustainable agriculture. Much of his work is focused on strategies to help disease-resistant crop plants maintain their resistance for longer periods of time, in the face of attacks by pathogens that have ever-greater virulence.

In recent research, for instance, Mundt collaborated on a project in China which outlined a new system of planting different varieties of rice plants to dramatically reduce problems with the most important fungal disease of rice - a project that has implications for greater rice production around the world and more food for literally billions of people.