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Thomas A. Zitter

Thomas A. Zitter received his B.S. degree in botany and Ph.D. in plant pathology in 1968 at Michigan State University. He joined the University of Florida in 1968 and the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University in 1979 where he is a professor with extension and research responsibilities for diseases of vegetables. For more than 33 years Tom Zitter has been a leader in extension and applied research. His educational programs have benefited vegetable producers, IPM educators, and our profession. Throughout his career, Dr. Zitter has contributed to applied knowledge in plant virology, conducting studies on maize white line mosaic and its satellite virus infecting sweet corn, infection of pepper by Cucumber mosaic virus, a member of the genus Cucumovirus, and viruses of other crops. The pressing need to find controls for fungal diseases directed him to studies of fungicide usage on potato seed pieces and foliar disease control of tomato early blight and several cucurbit diseases. Dr. Zitter is a leader in developing disease reference materials. He served as editor for two APS disease compendia and has authored more than 30 Cornell Vegetable Fact Sheets and bulletins. He developed a comprehensive and attractive web site, Vegetable MD Online, which earned him the American University Award for Educational Excellence in Web Page Development. Probably his greatest extension legacy is his comprehensive programs for plant disease management on cucurbits. His contributions to cucurbit production have led to several invitations to address national and international audiences, most recently an international symposium on cucurbits in Adana, Turkey, and a melon symposium at the APS Caribbean Division meetings.