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Anne E. Dorrance
Dr. Anne E. Dorrance
Dr. Anne E. Dorrance was born in Hudson, N.Y., and grew up near the family farm outside of Syracuse, N.Y. She earned an A.S. in Biology from Herkimer County Community College, B.S. in Forest Biology (1980), SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and a M.S. in Plant Pathology (1985), University of Massachusetts. She worked with diseases of greenhouse and nursery crops as the plant pathologist for the Vermont Department of Agriculture from 1985 to 1989. She earned a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology (1995) studying Diplodia ear rot of corn from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. This was followed by post-doctoral research, working on late blight of potato at the Washington State University Research and Extension Unit in Mt. Vernon under the direction of Dr. Debra Inglis. Dr. Dorrance joined the faculty of the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University in 1997 and was promoted to Professor in 2009.
Dr. Dorrance has become a national and international authority on soybean diseases through her original research and extension efforts, two areas that are inextricably entwined in her program. Her responsibilities include research on the numerous pathogens of soybean, with emphases on host plant resistance, pathogen genetics, and integrated management, enmeshed with the delivery of extension-education programs. Dorrance and her lab members have published significant research on a wide range of pathogens, but focused primarily on
spp. Dorrance has made major breakthroughs in understanding the genetics of disease resistance in soybeans. She documented that the combination of quantitative resistance combined with
provided yield stability across environments with changing pathogen pathotype populations. Along with her students and research assistants, they identified several sources of resistance to
P. sojae, Pythium spp.
and are currently focused on mapping putative novel
but also quantitative disease resistance loci for all of these pathogens. She and a team of soybean breeders developed and released several soybean cultivars with high levels of resistance to
Dorrance and her students were the first to characterize the complex pathogen populations in Ohio soils that affect soybean and corn productivity. They documented numerous
species including the occurrence of metalaxyl/mefenoxam insensitive strains. In addition to new sources of resistance to this seedling disease complex they have also characterized the efficacy of new seed treatments as part of an integrated management strategy.
Dorrance’s research team also focus on characterizing the pathogens and identifying best management practices for reduced and no-till production systems. She and collaborators from the NC Region documented changes in pathotypes of
populations and the impact of combining seed treatments and host resistance on reducing yield losses in high-disease situations. This team also evaluated similar impacts on soybean cyst nematode (SCN) and charcoal rot in on-farm trials. These findings contributed directly to changes in fungicide usage in soybean production as well as increased awareness of SCN. Dorrance also evaluated the effects of fungicides and cultivar resistance to manage Sclerotinia stem rot. Moreover, the Dorrance lab has contributed to the growing body of literature demonstrating that fungicide applications to soybean have a greater effect in reducing disease severity of brown spot and frogeye leaf spot than to improving unspecified non-disease-related “plant health” effects.
Her research has covered the spectrum from applied field-based studies to basic studies identifying and characterizing the genes associated with resistance. She and her collaborators have garnered more than $19 million dollars in research support from a number of agencies including Ohio Soybean Council, United Soybean Board, North Central Soybean Board, USDA, NSF, and industry funding.
Anne Dorrance is passionate about the extension component to her position. Her large and productive research program informs the education of growers, county educators, and crop consultants in the state and region. In just the past 10 years, she has over 150 articles in Ohio State’s Agronomy Team Newsletter, which has 30,000 views per month. In an independent review, the impact of the newsletter to Ohio Farmers and Dealers was valued at $21.2 million; an increase in yields in the state of 8.6 bu/acre was directly attributed to information in the newsletter. She also designed, organized, and delivered intensive hands-on workshops for producers and crop consultants to bring the “biology” of disease management to stakeholders. She is regularly invited to present her research in state and regional venues, averaging more than 20 such presentations per year. She has been recognized many times for her outreach efforts, including such honors as the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Ohio Soybean Council, the Special Meritorious Award by the American Soybean Association, and the Excellence in Extension Award by APS.
Graduate education is very important to Dorrance; 12 M.S. and four Ph.D. have earned their degrees under her direction, and she currently has six graduate students and routinely has 3-6 undergraduates working in her program. Several of her former Ph.D. students and post-docs now hold faculty positions. Through her applied research and extension efforts, Dorrance became acutely aware that there is a shortage of broadly trained and applied plant health specialists to be hired by industry and extension in the coming years. With a mission to address this problem, she developed a new Professional Science Master’s (PSM)-certified program at OSU in partnership with the Department of Entomology, with a focus on Plant Health Management; this is the first PSM program at Ohio State. Several students have received degrees from this program and all are employed in relevant jobs. This program is targeted toward training the next generation of extension educators, certified crop advisors, and industry employees with expertise in plant health.
Dorrance has always had a strong service commitment. She has served as Secretary/Treasurer (2002-2005) and President (2011-2012) of the North Central Division, Councilor-at-Large (2009-2012) of APS, chair of host resistance (2002) and cultural diversity (2000), APS Soybean Rust Symposium Program committees (2005-2009) and Associate (2008-2011) and Senior (2013-2014) Editor of
. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the APS North Central Division in 2012.
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