Baruch Sneh was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, on July 25, 1939. He graduated from the Agricultural High School Miqve Israel near Tel Aviv in 1956. During 1957 to 1959, Dr. Sneh served in the Israeli Defense Forces. He earned a B.S. degree in agriculture and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant protection from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Rehovot. Dr. Sneh served as a plant pathologist at the Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center. He then joined the Department of Plant Sciences and Institute for Nature Conservation Research at Tel Aviv University in 1976 and moved through the ranks to his current position as professor. During his career, Dr. Sneh has taken several sabbaticals leaves, due to the Israeli system of encouraging acquaintance with different laboratories and scientists abroad, at the University of Bristol, England; Summerland Research Station, Canada; Michigan State University; Colorado State University; Hokkaido University, Japan; and EcoScience Corp.
Dr. Sneh is a leading researcher with international standing in soilborne diseases, biological control of plant diseases, and biological control of insect pests. His efforts have gone beyond the laboratory to the field and have resulted in five successful biological control methods. Dr. Sneh can be considered an expert on the biology of Rhizoctonia.
Dr. Sneh’s interest in the genus Rhizoctonia led him to take the initiative with L. L. Burpee and Akira Ogoshi to organize the often confused and conflicting information on the taxonomy of this genus in a book published by APS Press in 1991. Dr. Sneh led the effort to develop a more comprehensive volume summarizing recent advances in the taxonomy, molecular biology, ecology, pathology, and disease control of Rhizoctonia. In 1993, Dr. Sneh initiated the International Rhizoctonia Subject Matter Committee in the ISPP and served as its first chairman.
Dr. Sneh developed a method for the detection and isolation of microorganisms parasitizing oospores of Phytophthora, Pythium, and Aphanomyces in soil. This work was the first to show that oospores of root-infecting fungi are readily parasitized by a wide range of microorganisms in soil and suggested that they might be exploited as biological control agents.
Dr. Sneh has been involved in several studies on soil suppressiveness to disease that have defined more clearly the mechanisms involved.
During collaborative work with the EcoScience Corp., Dr. Sneh developed a patented microbial preparation (Bio-Save 10) for the control of postharvest fungal rots of apples, pears, oranges, and lemons. The preparation is now being sold to packinghouses in the United States, with plans to expand the market to other countries.
Since 1976, Dr. Sneh’s responsibilities have included the development of biocontrol preparations based on new isolates of Bacillus thuringiensis against the Egyptian cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis) and other Spodoptera spp.
Dr. Sneh’s teaching responsibilities at Tel Aviv University have included laboratory sections for undergraduate courses in soil microbiology, introductory plant pathology, diseases of vegetable crops, ecology of soilborne plant pathogens, biological control of plant pathogens, plant microbe interactions, and microbial control of insect larvae. He also initiated and coordinates a program between the Faculty of Life Sciences and the School of Education.
Dr. Sneh is a member of the Israeli Phytopathological Society, the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, and the International Society for Invertebrate Pathology. He has been a member of APS since 1976.