CSI Dublin: The Hunt for the Irish Potato Killer
|Content Area:||Science, Biology|
|Content Area:||Science, Biology|
Rebecca Hite » is a tenured science teacher with the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City schools. She teaches Biology and Advanced Placement Human Geography at Carrboro High School. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BS in Biology and a BA in Geography, she attended graduate school and received her Masters in Secondary Science Education in 2003, also from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her time with the Chapel Hill/Carrboro city schools she has been named the Burton Stuart Chair for Excellence in Science and Mathematics, NCSTA District Five Outstanding Science Teacher (2007), a North Carolina Science Leadership Association Fellow, a CDC Science Ambassador and a Kenan Fellow for Curriculum and Leadership.
In developing “CSI Dublin: The Hunt for the Irish Potato Killer,” Rebecca worked with Dr. Jean Beagle Ristaino, a celebrated professor at North Carolina State University. She is a tenured researcher-lecturer of plant pathology and author of Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology. Her laboratory has pioneered forensic DNA techniques for studying historical migrations of the late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, as well as other plant pathogens of great agricultural importance. Results from this work have been published in the journal Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Ristaino’s dedication and significant contributions to the science community have taken her and her students all over the world from Central America to Europe where she presents at domestic and international conferences.
« Jean Beagle Ristaino was born in Washington, D. C., earned her B.S. degree in Biological Sciences in 1979 and M.S. degree in Plant Pathology in 1982 from the University of Maryland, and her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of California-Davis in 1987. She joined the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University in 1987, advancing to full professor in 1998. Much of her research work has been on the genus Phytophthora. Her work on the population biology and genetics of historical epidemics has successfully refuted much of what was once believed about the 19th century European potato late blight epidemics. Applying pioneering research techniques to 150-year-old historic herbarium specimens allowed her to track migrations of P. infestans from its ancestral home in the Andes to Ireland and the US. This research provides an excellent example of the importance of molecular diagnostics for addressing basic ecological questions concerning the spread of emerging plant pathogens. Dr. Ristaino’s late blight research has received coverage by the media, including CNN, Discovery Channel, radio (NPR, BBC, Voice of America) and hundreds of newspaper articles. Dr. Ristaino’ research has not only impacted the understanding and direction of our science, but has also influenced how the general public views science and scientists. She teaches fungal biology, tropical plant pathology and agricultural ethics at NC State.
Rebecca Hite, Carrboro High School NC. email@example.com
Jean Beagle Ristaino, phD, North Carolina State University. Jean_Ristaino@ncsu.edu
GlaxoSmithKline supports the Kenan Fellows Program to promote teacher leadership in the sciences, to extend university research through effective K-12 outreach programs, and to advance K-12 science education.
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