Dr. Jean B. Ristaino
Dr. Ristaino is a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. She earned a B.S. in biological sciences with a botany emphasis in 1979 and an M.S. in plant pathology from the University of Maryland in 1982. She worked in the Soilborne Diseases Laboratory, USDA, Beltsville, from 1982 to 1984. She earned her Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of California, Davis, in 1987. She joined the faculty at North Carolina State University in October 1987. Her research has focused primarily on the ecology and epidemiology of oomycete diseases including Phytophthora species on pepper, potato, tomato, and soybean, and Sclerotium rolfsii on vegetable crops. A major goal of her work is to develop ecologically based disease management practices that reduce our reliance on pesticides. Dr. Ristaino was the 1993 recipient of the outstanding researcher award from the North Carolina State University Chapter of Sigma Xi and has served as president of the NCSU Chapter. She is director of the Office of Electronic Communications for the American Phytopathological Society. She served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Summer Environmental Policy Fellow in Washington, DC, and worked in the Office of Atmospheric Programs on the methyl bromide issue. She currently teaches a graduate course entitled "Agriculture, Ethics, and the Environment" in even years in the fall. Her work on the potato famine pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, has been published in the journal Nature, and she has worked with the press frequently to share her science with the public.