Dr. William L. Bruckart, III earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in degrees in Plant Pathology from Cornell University studying with Dr. James Lorbeer. Bill’s research for his M.S. degree involved identifying weed hosts of Cucumber Mosaic Virus in New York and for his Ph.D. degree he researched the biological control of onion damping-off using a Pseudomonas burkholdaria (cepacia) seed treatment.
After working a year as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Cornell, Dr. Bruckart joined the USDA, ARS, Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Unit in Frederick, Maryland in 1981. Since joining the USDA, Bill has been involved with the foreign exploration, collection, and evaluation of candidate fungi for the biological control of invasive U.S. weeds.
Dr. Bruckart’s research at the USDA-ARS has resulted in the release of two rust fungi, Puccinia carduorum and P. jaceae var. solstitialis, for classical biological control of musk thistle and yellow starthistle, respectively. Accomplishing these releases required completing a very conservative regulatory process which included inoculating 65 species of plants, representing 10 families, to determine host-specificity. Bill has discovered numerous new fungal pathogens on weeds, and many candidate fungi are under evaluation for biological control of several invasive weeds in the U.S. Bill wrote a book chapter on biological control of invasive weeds, and in the spring of 2006, Bill was invited to teach a course entitled “Ecology of Invasions and Biological Control” at Hood College, as adjunct to the Environmental Biology Department.
Dr. Bruckart has been an active member of the American Phytopathological Society and the Potomac Division of APS. He served as Vice-President, President, and Immediate Past President of the Potomac Division from 2003-2005, and has served on several Division Committees including Resolutions, Graduate Student Travel Award Committee, the Graduate Student Competition Committee and the Thesis Research Award Committee. At the national level, Bill has served on the Biological Control and the Regulatory and Foreign Plant Pathogens Committees.
Please join me in a resounding THANK YOU to Bill as we bestow the Potomac Division Distinguished Service Award upon him!