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K-State Turf and Landscape Blog

Month: September 2020

Dr. Megan Kennelly is Department Head of Plant Pathology

By Brooke Garcia

We had to share this exciting news that our fellow colleague and co-founder of the K-State Turf and Landscape Blog has been named the head of the Department of Plant Pathology. 

Here is the most recent press release that was released on August 6, 2020.

Kennelly named department head for plant pathology at K-State

New leader described as ‘tremendous faculty advocate’

August 14, 2020

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Megan Kennelly, the interim leader of K-State’s Department of Plant Pathology for nearly two years, has been appointed to the position permanently.

Ernie Minton, dean of K-State’s College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, said Kennelly has been instrumental in expanding the depth and breadth of plant pathology and genetics at K-State.

“Over the past two years, Megan has demonstrated the skills and instincts required to be a successful leader as department head,” Minton said. “She is very thoughtful and thorough, and always asks the right questions to inform her communications and decision-making. I look forward to working with Megan as she leads plant pathology in the coming years.”

Since joining the department in 2006, Kennelly has earned several professional awards, served on the editorial board of five professional journals, given more than 350 extension presentations to horticulture professionals and developed innovative online educational resources for state, regional, and national growers.

She identifies plant diseases and provides management information for producers of fruit, vegetables, trees, ornamentals and turfgrass. Kennelly has served as major professor or co-major professor for eight graduate students and on advisory committees for ten others. She has authored or co-authored 36 journal articles and five book chapters and been a presenter or co-presenter for more than 60 scientific presentations.

Kennelly has been the lead or co-principal investigator on more than $4 million in external funding to support research, extension and education projects. Currently, she is the lead principal investigator of a $400,000 USDA-funded interdisciplinary project to provide research and extension experiences for undergraduates to train summer cohorts.

Barbara Valent, University Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology, called Kennelly a “tremendous faculty advocate.” Valent, who was named to the National Academies of Sciences in April based on her research at K-State, said she appreciates Kennelly’s tremendous support for research.

Two years ago, Valent won a major national research award that she believes was instrumental in her being named to NAS. Together with Marty Draper, associate dean of Research and Graduate Studies and director for Research, Kennelly wrote and submitted Valent’s application for the 2018 award.

“When I learned I had been elected to NAS, Megan was the very first person I called,” Valent said. “Megan couldn’t have been more excited for me.”

“I look forward to continuing to work with everyone in the department,” Kennelly said. “Every day I’m inspired by the creativity, commitment and enthusiasm of our faculty, students and staff. Even though I am not seeing everyone regularly now because of COVID-19, I am still energized by the high-impact work they are all doing in research, extension and teaching.”

Kennelly earned a bachelor’s degree in botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a doctorate in plant pathology from Cornell University and served as a postdoctoral researcher at Michigan State University.

Story by: 

Susan Schiff

864-723-3273

susanschiff@ksu.edu

Kansas Forest Service recommends diverse plantings

By Brooke Garcia

It is important to remember that disease resistance goes hand-in-hand with diversity. Monoculture can lead to catastrophic losses and increase the prevalence of disease in our communities. The Kansas Forest Service recently released an article regarding the important of planting a diversity of tree varieties in efforts to improve disease resilience. To view the article, click on the following link here.

Fall is a great time to plant trees in the landscape. There is an upcoming webinar on September 23rd from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., hosted through the #KStateGardenHour series, called “Fall Tree Planting: How to do it right!” Dr. Charlie Barden, K-State Forestry Specialist, will share his tips and techniques for selecting, planting, staking and mulching trees. In addition, learn about the trees for great fall color, and the differences when planting evergreen vs deciduous trees in the fall. To register for this webinar, visit the website: bit.ly/KStateGardenHour

Turfgrass Field Day Series

By Dr. Jack Fry and Alex Bach

Turfgrass Field Day would have been on August 6th, 2020, had we been able to have an in-person event this summer. This is certainly a first! For that reason, we’re offering a few short video summaries of research projects being conducted by K-State faculty and researchers.  In this video by Alex Bach, M.S. student in Horticulture, he discusses subsurface irrigation and how it impacts establishment of turfgrass from seed.

2020 Turfgrass Field Day Series Video 5 – Subsurface Irrigation by Alex Bach (Link Here)