Margery L. Daughtrey
Margery L. Daughtrey is nominated for her exceptional contributions to her stakeholders, her professional society, and the science and practice of plant pathology. Her accomplishments are detailed in the following citation.
Daughtrey is internationally recognized as a leader in the prevention and mitigation of disease losses in nursery and floriculture production. Former APS President W. E. Fry has said, “Margie is easily the most famous plant pathologist at Cornell University.” By stakeholder consensus, she is also the most prominent and influential ornamentals pathologist in the United States. As a senior extension associate, Daughtrey has become one of the most effective producers, packagers, and presenters of practical information on the prevention and management of plant disease. She is absolutely passionate about producing long-lived, practical educational materials for ornamental growers, and she continues to launch new and valuable projects and products. An excellent photographer, Daughtrey’s presentations are always full of exceptional images. In one 3-year period (2008–2010), Daughtrey presented seminars and invited talks on ornamental diseases and their management in 11 U.S. states and in Italy and presented 16 webinars and podcasts viewed by thousands of stakeholders worldwide. She has published more than 600 research reports, magazine articles, newsletters, conference proceedings, fact sheets, production guides, and technical reports that are distributed directly to primary producers, advisory personnel, students, and scholars across the United States and Canada. Several contacted colleagues expressed the view that anyone contemplating a career in outreach would profit more from a week spent observing Margery in the field, and trying to keep up with her, than from any amount of time in a lecture hall. Her skills as an enthusiastic and unfailingly positive mentor both to students and peers are well known and widely respected, particularly as a mentor and role model for young women entering our discipline. She is an excellent diagnostician and is often the first to report a disease new to floriculture. Her knowledge has made her a valuable advisor to industry groups as well as to the USDA. Her contributions to the floriculture industry have been recognized through prestigious regional and national awards. As an impartial and informed advocate for the floricultural industry, Daughtrey has been a critical source of expert information for regulatory agencies. Her logical and science-based testimony on issues such as chrysanthemum white rust (Puccinia horiana) and Southern wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum) on geraniums was essential to balance politically driven actions that would have otherwise harmed stakeholders. When Southern wilt hit the geranium industry in 2003, Daughtrey was called upon by USDA-APHIS to help design a workable response. It was Daughtrey who worked with the four major geranium breeders, for several years, to develop and deploy the basic sanitation principles to keep geranium crops free of Ralstonia and Xanthomonas. Those early efforts are the foundation of the current certification program that allows geranium cuttings to enter the United States from offshore. The geranium certification program has long been held up by APHIS as a model of industry/government cooperation, and without it, the geranium industry in the United States could literally have been ruined.
Daughtrey has served APS in numerous capacities: APS Council, editor-in-chief of Phytopathology News, and senior editor and editor-in-chief of APS PRESS. She has also served as secretary, vice president, and president of the Northeastern Division of APS. Daughtrey has been repeatedly identified and tapped as an important, reliable, and effective resource by the leadership of APS and her peers throughout the society. Daughtrey has led the resurgence of APS PRESS from a period of slow revenue growth to one with an expanded catalogue and strong revenue for the society. She was instrumental in reorganizing the Editorial Board to improve function and efficiency. Given modern printing options, Daughtrey and APS PRESS staff have decreased expenses by warehousing fewer copies of new books and printing “just in time” print runs to minimize costs. During Daughtrey’s tenure as editor-in-chief, APS PRESS has explored new ways to publish book projects electronically and maintain revenues. The first electronic products will be available this year. Testimonials from APS headquarters staff, as well as numerous authors who have worked with her, universally acknowledge her editorial skills, effectiveness, boundless energy, timely encouragement, and dedication to move projects forward. She has an extraordinary gift for inspiring weary authors to breathe life into ambitious but moribund writing projects.
Despite her appointment as a senior extension associate with only a 20% research assignment, Daughtrey has compiled an impressive record in research. Whenever faced with new disease problems, Daughtrey has conducted original research, developed strong collaborations, and provided growers with effective management tools. She collaborated with colleagues in the first descriptions of two carlaviruses: Coleus vein necrosis virus (CVNV) and Hydrangea chlorotic mottle virus (HdCMV). Daughtrey was the first to find a new powdery mildew (Oidium longipes) on petunia in the United States, and with collaborators in Hungary, found the same pathogen on petunia in Europe and determined the threat it posed to other solanaceous crops. She also collaborated on the first studies on dogwood anthracnose caused by Discula destructiva. That she is widely sought and enlisted as a collaborator in research is self-evident from a cursory examination of her 22 refereed journal articles and brief reports. She has written two prestigious reviews in Annual Review of Phytopathology (32:61-73 and 43:141-169). Daughtrey has published 14 scholarly book chapters, nearly all as senior author, and coauthored four books, including the recent APS PRESS book Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials. In the increasingly specialized research world, Daughtrey is an invaluable rarity who truly bridges the divide between research and its practical application. The high regard for her efforts can be estimated from her success as a leader and valued coinvestigator in competitive grants ($1,724,630 since 2005). Over her career, Daughtrey has been a major force driving the collaboration of scientists working on ornamental diseases throughout the world. Daughtrey is thoroughly deserving of recognition of her accomplishments and service by appointment as a fellow of The American Phytopathological Society.