Rebecca Hite

Carrboro High School
Chapel Hill – Carrboro Schools
Mentor: Dr. Jean Ristaino, NC State University
Sponsors: National Science Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline

Late Blight and the Irish Potato Famine
The Irish potato famine had a significant impact on American culture, through the immigration of people from Ireland to the United States. With support from the National Science Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline, Kenan Fellow Rebecca Hite is developing resources for the investigation of this agricultural disaster. Students, acting as modern day CSI agents, will examine leaf samples to identify the pathogen that causes potato blight, and determine how agricultural biotechnology techniques are useful in maintaining a sustainable global society. Students will propose biological interventions to protect a potato crop and evaluate their success through a simulated growing season.