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​2022 APS Fellow Dr. Odile Carisse​

The society grants this honor to a current APS member in recognition of distinguished contributions to plant pathology or to The American Phytopathological Society. Fellow recognition is based on significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: original research, teaching, administration, professional and public service, and/or extension and outreach.

Odile Carisse was born on August 8, 1959, in Montreal (Canada). She received her bachelor's degree in agronomy from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) in 1987 and began her master's degree program immediately. She received her master's degree in plant pathology from McGill University in 1989. Afterward, she obtained her doctorate from McGill in 1992, with a dissertation titled "Spore Production, Factors Influencing Infection and Determination of a Disease Threshold for Cercospora Blight of Carrot." After a six-month training program at Wageningen University under the supervision of J. C. Zadoks, she began her career as a pathology researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Horticulture Research and Development Centre in 1992. Early in her graduate studies, Carisse was involved in teaching Introduction to Plant Pathology and Plant Disease Epidemiology summer courses, and she is still invited to lecture in phytopathology and on fungicide resistance at McGill University. She was involved in the supervision and cosupervision of several graduate students, first at McGill University (adjunct professor 1992-1998), then at Laval University (adjunct professor since 2003), and finally at Sherbrooke University (adjunct professor since 2010). She also supervised highly qualified personnel, members of her laboratory, visiting researchers, and postdoctoral fellows from many countries.

Carisse's research program focuses on four main research areas: molecular aerobiology, quantitative epidemiology, plant disease management, and plant disease risk assessment. Carisse developed DNA-based assays for quantifying airborne inoculum of several major plant pathogens. Her aerobiology research is notable for demonstrating the feasibility of accurately quantifying airborne inoculum and using this information for plant disease management. Based on her work on molecular aerobiology, a network of airborne inoculum monitoring was implemented in 2008 in Quebec for management of Botrytis leaf blight of onion. She also used DNA-based assays to detect the presence of SNPs related to fungicide resistance in Botrytis cinerea populations and to develop sampling efficient schemes.

Carisse's research in epidemiology focuses on understanding and describing plant diseases using mathematics and statistics. She uses novel methods of analysis to understand how the environment influences diseases and to develop management strategies. For example, she used survival analysis to identify factors associated with grape leaf defoliation caused by Elsinoe ampelina, the anthracnose pathogen. Based on accelerated time failure modeling, she could identify the most significant variables related to defoliation and suggest anthracnose management strategies. She was one of the first epidemiologists to use kernel regression to analyze the effect of leaf and berry maturity on powdery mildew. Similarly, she used polynomial distributed lag regression models to investigate the association between foliar strawberry mildew severity, Podosphaera aphanis airborne inoculum concentration, weather, and subsequent crop losses for day-neutral strawberries. Moreover, she worked on various risk estimation methods, including receiver operating characteristic curve and Bayesian analysis. These approaches facilitated the adoption by growers and advisors of several forecast systems, while saving a great amount of time and money compared with conventional evaluations.

Since 2009, and more actively since 2016, Carisse has been working to change the traditional approach used in research to address crop health issues. Modern agriculture is facing many challenges, including climate change, increasing commercial exchanges and movements of plants and pests, intensification of agricultural practices, and increasing demand for high-quality food with the least amount of pesticide residues and higher production ethics. The "biovigilance" approach she proposed is aimed at predicting and estimating the importance of pests and at developing sustainable and innovative control methods, while keeping in mind that agricultural systems are dynamic and that control methods must constantly be reassessed.

Throughout her career, Carisse has always attached great importance to the dissemination and transfer of the results of her research and plant pathology in the broadest sense to agronomists, IPM specialists, and growers, which makes her a true ambassador of plant pathology. An example of her achievements speaks for itself: her contribution to the implementation of a molecular surveillance network for airborne diseases of onion in southwestern Quebec led to a documented reduction in pesticide use. Moreover, the forecast models she developed for strawberries and grapes are used by growers and crop consultants to make management decisions across Canada and elsewhere (Raphael Fonclara, personal communication, November 2021).

Carisse has been an APS member since 1987 and involved as a board member of the Northeastern Division (NED) (2001-2003), a member of the Symposium Committee (2002-2005), and president of the Scientific Program and Local Organization Committee for the 2002 APS NED Annual Meeting and has organized and chaired several workshops and symposia for APS. She served as a senior editor of Phytopathology (2012-2015), and she is now a senior editor of PhytoFrontiers™ (2020). Carisse has also been an active member of the APS CLARE and Epidemiology Committees for more than 10 years.

Other than APS, Carisse has also served other organizations in plant pathology, such as the Québec Society for Plant Protection (since 1987); the Canadian Phytopathological Society (CPS), of which she was president of the scientific program for the 2003 annual meeting in Montreal, member and chair of the Awards Committee (2008-2012), and board member (2013-2016) and president (2016-2017); the International Society of Plant Pathology (ISPP) (councilor since 2004), member of the Epidemiology Committee (2004), member of the Scientific Committee for the 9th Workshop on Plant Disease Epidemiology (2005), chair Epidemiology Committee (2008-2013), and member of the ​Scientific Committee for the 10th Workshop on Plant Disease Epidemiology (2009). Carisse's expertise in aerobiology and epidemiology is recognized by the international scientific community. She was nominated as chair of the International Committee in Epidemiology of the ISPP, foreign correspondent of the French Academy of Agriculture, and scientific advisor for the French National Institute of Research in Agronomy. Moreover, she also received the Award for Exceptional Achievement in Grape Disease Management (French Phytopathology Society, 2010) and received the CPS Award for Outstanding Research (2015).

In addition to her work as a researcher, she took over the family farm and manages a 70-ha farm producing field crops and grapes.