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.
Arne Stensvand was born in Hardanger, Norway, and received his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) at Ås in 1994. The year before, he was appointed as a researcher at what is now the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), which is colocated with the NMBU campus, and he was promoted to senior researcher in 2002. From 2003 to 2004 he was director of research at NIBIO, leading a group of 90 faculty scientists in 13 departments, with approximately 300 additional scientific staff. He subsequently served as group leader and department head at NIBIO from 2005 to 2015. His responsibilities are presently divided between tree fruit and berry crop research and outreach at NIBIO (50%) and as professor of plant pathology at NMBU (50%).
Stensvand is internationally respected as one of the most knowledgeable experts on diseases of tree fruits and small fruits. He is one of the foremost researchers working today on apple scab (caused by Venturia inaequalis), the most consistently destructive apple disease in North America and northern Europe. As a visiting research scholar at Cornell University from 1991 to 1992, he and his colleagues developed an innovative wind-tunnel system to quantify the separate and combined effects of temperature, light, and population maturity on the pattern of ascospore release in the apple scab pathogen. This work reconciled a disconnect between the observed suppression of ascospore release in darkness under field conditions, and the inability to consistently reproduce the diurnal periodicity of ascospore release in the laboratory. Together with Stensvand's work on low-temperature infection by V. inaequalis, these studies facilitated widespread acceptance of a significant revision of the infection period table for apple scab. Today, elements of his research can be found in virtually every forecasting system for management of apple scab. His later work to refine and expand the applications of a common degree-day model of ascospore maturity for the apple scab fungus resulted in adaptations that extended its use far beyond its original scope, and the revised model is an important driver within the most widely used advisory systems in apple IPM.
Stensvand's other research contributions are likewise significant and substantial. He has enhanced our understanding of the role of asexual overwintering of both V. inaequalis and V. pirina in twig lesions. He led an investigation that transformed our understanding of the etiology of anthracnose in apple and cherry, identifying new sources of inoculum for Colletotrichum acutatum. He contributed to our enhanced understanding of the epidemiology, sources of inoculum, ontogenic resistance, and management of strawberry powdery mildew. Finally, he has been a leading scientist in the newly emerging area of how light can be used to suppress plant pathogens. This work, in collaboration with Aruppillai Suthaparan and others, has been shown to be broadly applicable across several powdery mildew pathosystems, including rose, cucurbit, rosemary, tomato, and strawberry. He was most recently invited to present an overview of his work on light and plant health at the 2018 ICPP. The foregoing represents only a portion of the body of work described in his 85 peer-reviewed publications and 18 books, book chapters, and reviews.
Stensvand is a rare individual who is not only an exceedingly talented and productive researcher but can translate the latest research from his own program and from others to an international audience of the horticultural industry. He has produced over 600 extension and technical bulletins and reports for distribution to a national and international body of stakeholders. He is highly sought after as a speaker at grower conferences, having presented over 150 talks at local, national, and international meetings for the industry. He has been a coordinator for IPM in berry crops of the Nordic Association of Agricultural Science (NJF), which encompasses Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. He is one of the principal organizers of a working group of international extension specialists and fruit pathologists responsible for the models that drive the world's most widely distributed and used advisory system for apple scab management: RIMpro.
Stensvand is a committed and engaged citizen of the international community of plant pathology. He has served his profession as a group leader, department head and research director at NIBIO; during this period, the organization emerged as a leading agricultural research and extension unit in Europe and achieved its present status as a destination for scholars from around the globe. Stensvand alone has hosted 24 international scholars at NIBIO since 2000, mentored 37 M.S. and Ph.D. students, either as a major professor or co-adviser, and served as the external examiner for 15 others. He has served as an associate editor of the European Journal of Plant Pathology from 2012 to 2017, and as associate editor of Plant Disease from 2013 to 2015. He is an editor and multiple-chapter author of the nearly completed 3rd edition of the APS Compendium of Strawberry Diseases, Disorders, and Pests. He has been a principal organizer of numerous conferences of the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control (IOBC). Most recently, he was the lead convenor for the 12th International Epidemiology Workshop in Lillehammer, Norway, bringing together the leading plant epidemiologists from 13 countries over a 5-day period to discuss the latest advancements in the discipline. Remarkably, these accomplishments were accrued in parallel with an ambitious teaching schedule at NMBU, and his leadership as one of the coordinators for the NOVA University Network in plant pathology, a collaborative intensive instructional program for graduate students in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
Those who have worked with Arne Stensvand know him as a humble and self-effacing individual, but they also recognize his intense intellectual drive, his curiosity, and his dedication to producing the best possible science and taking an active role in its application and his generosity to his peers and his profession. The record of his accomplishments detailed above make him worthy of the honor of selection as a Fellow of The American Phytopathological Society.