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Featured Researcher Bio - NFHB Forum Poster Winner January 2022



2021 National Fusarium Head Blight Forum Poster Competition Winners

Returning this year to the NFHB Forum for the second time, the 2021 Poster Competition for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers featured 30 posters comprising 22 graduate students and 8 post-docs. For the first time, winners in both categories (Graduate Student and Post-Doctoral Researcher) received cash prizes generously sponsored by BASF. This year evaluations consisted of two rounds where 21 judges evaluated the posters for content and professionalism. A huge thank you to all the judges and BASF for making this year’s event possible. Here are highlights for each of the 2021 Poster Competition awardees...


Post-Doctoral Researcher Category




1st Place: Wanderson Bucker Moraes, The Ohio State University, FHB Management, Poster #104 “Temperature, Moisture, Grain Development, and Harvesting Strategy Effects on Zearalenone Contamination of Grain Harvested from Fusarium Head Blight-affected Wheat Spikes”

Wanderson is from Alegre, Espírito Santo, Brazil. He completed his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University. Wanderson is a post-doctoral scholar working in Dr. Pierce Paul’s lab working in conjunction with Dr. Laurance Madden at OSU. His research focuses on understanding the biology, epidemiology, and management of the FHB-mycotoxin-wheat system. This research provides a better understanding of the complex disease-toxin system to develop management strategies to mitigate the impacts of FHB. Wanderson enjoys watching soccer games and barbecuing when not in the lab.










2nd Place: Yadong Huang, University of Minnesota, Gene Discovery and Engineering Resistance, Poster #117 “Fine Mapping of FHB and DON Quantiative Trait Loci on Chromosome 2H in Barley”

Yadong is from Anhui, a province in eastern China about the size of New York and is as populous as France. He completed is Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota (UMN). Currently, Yadong is a post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Gary Muehlbauer’s lab at UMN. His research focuses on mapping and fine mapping FHB and DON QTL in barley and using genomic tools to understand the mechanisms of the barley-Fusarium interaction. Outside of work, Yadong enjoys spending time with his family hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing.












3rd Place: Gerit Bethke, University of Minnesota, Gene Discovery and Engineering Resistance, Poster #113 “The Barley -UDP-Glycosyltransferase UGT13248 is Required for Deoxynivalenol Conjugation and Type 2 Resistance to Fusarium Head Blight”

Gerit is from Germany. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Gary Muehlbauer’s lab at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on studying UDP-glucosyl transferase UGT13248 in barley and its role in DON conjugation and type II resistance in barley. When not doing research, Gerit enjoys spending time outdoors skiing and hiking.











Graduate Student Category




1st Place: Rebecca Shay, Michigan State University, Pathogen Biology and Genetics, Poster #136 “Exploring the Genetics of Biofilm in Fusarium graminearum”

Rebecca is from Grand Haven, Michigan. She currently is a graduate student working in Dr. Frances Trail’s lab at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the early infection responses of Fusarium graminearum in barley. Particularly, looking at infection points and morphological changes including the formation of biofilms. When not working in the lab, Rebecca enjoys baking cookies and pies. Her lab mates especially appreciate her tasty treats!










2nd Place: John Hawkins, University of Minnesota, Variety Development and Host Resistance, Poster #141 “Exploring Variation for FHB Resistance and Toxin Development in Naked Barley”

John is from Andover, Minnesota. Currently, he is a graduate student in Dr. Kevin Smith’s lab at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. His research focuses on the effect of hulless barley genetics on the distribution of DON within the barely spike. When John is not doing research, he enjoys hiking.












3rd Place: Lovepreet Singh, University of Maryland, Gene Discovery and Engineering Resistance, Poster #127 “Towards Find Mapping of a Native FHB Resistance QTL from Soft Red Winter Wheat Cultivar ‘Jamestown’”

Lovepreet is from Punjab (The Bread Basket of India), located in Northwest India. He is currently a graduate student in Dr. Nidhi Rawat’s lab at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research is on the discovery of resistance genes associated with Fusarium head blight in wheat using molecular genetics and molecular biology approaches. When Lovepreet is not conducting research, he enjoys spending time in nature and especially playing with his sixth month old baby boy.












Congratulations to all of this year's Poster Competition winners on this accomplishment! The USWBSI wishes each of you the best in all your future scientific endeavors. Additionally, the USWBSI would like to extend a thank you and congratulations to all the poster authors who participated in the competition and for their active engagement in the Poster Sessions. Access to the 2021 NFHB Forum Abstracts of all the Posters and Presentations are available for viewing.


You can also check out the series of previous USWBSI Featured Researchers.