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​​Then & Now Webinar Series: A retrospective on the evolution of plant virus diagnostics

Broadcast Date: March 21, 2023

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​​​Webinar Summary​

The “Virology – Then & Now” webinar series would consist the format of a senior scientist presenting on classic techniques or how things were done traditionally, followed by an early/mid-career scientist presenting on new techniques or new ways to answer the same questions, followed by a discussion with the audience. Each session will focus on one or two major topics (time permitting); topics can be either technical (e.g. diagnostics) or non-technical (e.g. academic publishing) in nature. Rather than simply presenting technical details, speakers will be encouraged to tell a story and the talks will be somewhat informal in nature. This idea is partially inspired by the “Pathologists of Distinction (POD” talks at APS meetings but include an opportunity to bring early career scientists into the conversation.

Learning Objectives

The anticipated result is a well-attended series of virtual seminars that touch upon topics not usually covered in other technical seminars or at least not framed in this manner. We hope this seminar series will be a rare chance to share the unspoken side of science – not just the data but how ways of knowing and participating in science have evolved and will continue to evolve. We also hope that this activity will help connect established scientists with early/mid-career scientists and foster continued virology committee engagement beyond the annual APS meetings.



Robert (Bob) R. Martin
USDA-ARS (Retired)
Robert (Bob) R. Martin received his B.S. (forestry) and Ph.D. (plant pathology) degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory (HCRL), Corvallis, OR from 1980 to 1982 where he began his work on viruses of berry crops. He then joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Vancouver, B.C. and returned to the USDA-ARS HCRL in Corvallis in 1995 as research plant pathologist and later research leader. He is also a professor in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University. Bob is the leading figure worldwide in the identification, characterization, and management of viruses infecting small fruit crops, and his research groups have identified and characterized over 40 virus species in small fruit, ornamental, and vegetable crops. Besides his extensive publication record, Bob worked closely with growers to help identify and address disease problems and develop methods for both diagnostics and disease management. He is a member of the APS and has served as committee member and chair, as senior editor for APS PRESS and as associate editor for Phytopathology and Plant Disease. He is a past recipient of the Lee M. Hutchins Award and an APS Fellow.

On-Demand Webinar​