Research in the News


Links to Research stories in the media from work in the Ristaino Lab

Videos and TV

Tracking a Plant Killer: Historical and Scientific Reflections on the Irish Famine Pathogen. Pathologist of Distinction Lecture, August 2023, Denver CO

The Potato Plague: A Painfully Interesting Subject. The Linnean Society, London, May 19th, 2022

Featured Book: Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology. Book review by Sophien Kamoun, Oct 4, 2021

Digital Farming Technologies for Disease Surveillance, Pathogen Detection and Forecasting, NC Crop Protection Conference. Start at 40 min

Plant Aid Video, by Inga Meadows and Duncan McSorley, August 2021

Plant Aid: A data-driven and sensor integrated platform for monitoring plant disease, PSI Forum, Oct 29, 2020

NC State Researchers Working to Detect Plant Disease before they Stirke. May 24, 2021 CBS17 , Raleigh

New smartphone technologes for pathogen detection, Grains Research Development Corporation Meeting, Perth Australia, Feb 2020,

PlantAid: A Big Data Project to detect plant diseases faster

A new way to fight crop diseases with a smart phone

NC State developing new technology that will help farmers detect plant diseases

Scientists are fighting for the Stricken Pickle Against a Tricky Disease,  NPR The SALT, Dec. 14 2018

Watch a recording of my seminar on emerging plant diseases for the Global Genetic Engineering and Society Center colloquium here.

Crop Diseases that Threaten your Breakfast: A panel discusssion at Harvard, July 31, 2018

See Jeans Webinar presented at FAO Rome in April 2018 on Emerging Plant Disease: A Threat to Global Food Security

Emerging Diseases Threaten Food Security and Your Breakfast, RTP 180, August 23, 2016. Video link

Emerging Plant Disease in the Context of Ecosystem Services- US Department of State, April 13, 2013 Video link

Emerging Plant Disease: Tackling Global Challenges Agrilinks Video

Genetic Engineering and Society Colloquium. Nov. 4, 2014, Video link

AgriLinks Interview with Jan Leach, June 20, 2013, Video Link

Major Contributions of Early Women Plant Pathologist to our Science: Strategies, Struggles and Success, July 29, 2008, Video Link

CNN Global Challenges Film- Global_56k

Television interview on late blight research –Main_T1


Farm to Fork Radio, A Plant Pathology Story, July 6,7 nd 8th, 2021

Plant Pandemics, Top of the Mind Radio with Julie Rose, July 21, 2021

Podcast for Wicked Problems: Wolfpack Solutions, Summer 2020

Oh the Praties they Grow Small- sung by Sarah Ristaino for Wicked Problems:Wolfpack Solutions

Perspectives from Plant Pathologists, Centennial Meeting July 2008, Podcast 

Boston Museum of Science Podcast

Pioneering Woman Scientist Eva Sansome Podcast

Potato Famines DNA Deciphered, Sept 18, 2008 Podcast

NPR radio interview with Dr. Jean Ristaino and Richard Harris

Press releases and Printed

Preventing the Next Plant Plague, CALS NEWS, Febuary 19, 2024

Using Written Records – and Tweets – as a Roadmap for Plant Disease Spread, NC State News, February 12, 2024

Plant disease: Mapping the spread of potato blight prior to the Irish potato famine, Nature Scientific Reports, February 15, 2024

NC State researchers Assemble Pathogen “Tree of Life”, NC State News, April 3, 2023.

Mulitfunctional patch Offers Early detection of Plant Disease and Other Crop threats, NC State News, April12, 2023.

Early Detection of Late Blight in Tomato, Southeast FarmPress, October 10, 2022

Connecting field and lab with an eye towards extension, Duncan McSorley Profile October 5, 2022

Plant Science Pioneer Fights Late Blight of the Past and Future, CALS News, March 29, 2022

Study Finds Late Blight Stoked Outbreaks on Six Continents, PotatoGrower, Fall 2021

Plant Patch Enables Continuous Moniotring for Crop Disease, July 7, 2021

Study Finds Late Blight stoked Outbreaks on Six Continents, Potato Grower Magazine, September 2021

Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Stoked Outbreaks on Six Continents, July 11, 2021

Study Highights the need to Prevent Plant Pandemics, SouthAsia Media Network, May 22, 2021

Preventing the Spread of Plant Pandemics, McGill University, May 21, 2021

Plant Pandemics are on the Rise, Popular Science, May 26, 2021,

Plant Disease Pandemicis and How they Could Endanger our Food Supply: Scientists Sound the Alarm on a Growing Menance, May 22, 2021. The Washington Post

To Preserve Global Food Security, New tools Needed to Prevent Plant DIsease Pandemics, May 17, 2021 

PlantAid: A Grip4PSI Big Data Project to Detect Plant Diseases Faster, NCSU Press Release, April 29, 2020

A new way to fight crop diseases with a smart phone, New York Times, July 30, 2019

AAAS Announces Leading Scientists Elected Fellow in 2020, November 24, 2020

Portable Tech sniffs out plant diseases in the field, July 29, 2019

New Microneedle Technique Speeds Plant Disease Detection, June 10, 2019

Patterson and Ristaino receive awards for international impact, April 29, 2019

Jean Ristaino wins 2019 NC State Global Engagement Award, April 24, 2019

Faculty Focus: Jean Ristaino wins Fulbright Award

Read about my recent sabbatical to the University of Catania in Italy in Phytopathology News.

Washington Post, Genetics Say Origin of Irish potato blight was South America, newspaper link

Study Provides Evidence on Movement of Potato Famine Pathogen, Dec 28, 2016. Press release link

CALS Professor to Speak at Darwin Day, Febuary 8, 2016, Press release link 

Study Provides More Evidence Irish Potato Famine Causing Pathogen Originated in South America,  Press release Link

Irish Potato Famine Pathogen More Virulent then Ever, Press release link

Interns learn valuable life lessons studying tropical plant pathology in Costa Rica, March 2, 2013, Press release link

Ristaino Named Jefferson Fellow at State Department, July 20, 2012, Press release link

Taking the bite out of blight, April 7, 2011, Press release link

Potato Famine Research Exhibit on Display at the US Botanic Gardens,  Sept, 3, 2010, Press release link

ABC News Samples from Irish potato blight may shed light on Crop Killer, Press release

Researcher Identifies Pathogen Strain responsible for the Irish Potato Famine, press release

Smithsoniam Magazine, The Sherlock of Spuds:

Smithsoniam MagazineScientists finally pinpoint the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine

National Geographic News Magazine

PCR Amplification of the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen from Historic Specimens

Forensics Shifts Blame for Blight, Nature News

Museum piece: PCR identifies Irish Potato Famine Pathogen Nature Highlights

DNA Evidence Calls Irish Potato Famine Theory into Question, EurekAlert

 Beyond Jurassic Park: Real Science with Ancient DNA, Press release

ASM Microbe World, Tracking the fungus behind the famine, Press release

Wired- The Famine: Mexico Off the Hook, Press release

USA Today – Irish Potato famine caused by unidentified fungus press release

Studying the Historic Migrations of the Irish Potato Famine Pathogen using Ancient DNA Trends in Plant Science Trends in Plant Science Note