Report on the 35th Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, Canmore, Alberta, October 27-29, 2014
This past fall, Plant Pathology Society of Alberta (PPSA) members from the Lacombe Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe, AB, and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD) organized the 35th Annual Meeting of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, Canmore, Alberta, October 27-29, 2014. The meeting was held at the Best Western Plus, Pocaterra Inn, an excellent location and opportunity for attendees to enjoy some scenic mountain vistas.
The meeting started off with a reception at the Best Western Plus, Pocaterra Inn, during the evening of October 27, 2014. A key feature of the reception was a wide-selection of craft beers from select breweries in Canada and the USA, and made with malt produced by Rahr Malting, Co. of Alix, Alberta. The reception was a chance for attendees to renew acquaintances and to discuss ongoing research in plant pathology in a relaxed informal setting.
The scientific program for the 2014 PPSA covered oral and poster presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Tuesday morning started with welcoming addresses from Kelly Turkington, Chair of the Local Organizing Committee, and Dr. Deena Errampalli, CPS-SCP President. Next we had keynote presentations from Drs. Ron Howard, AARD Brooks, and Mary Burrows, Montana State University. Ron presented an overview of plant pathology in Alberta during his 40-year career, while Mary presented an outline of research, education, and outreach efforts in Montana regarding the wheat streak mosaic virus. The keynote presentations were then followed by oral and poster presentations by students, technical staff and scientists. In total there were 13 oral presentations, including the keynote presentations by Ron and Mary, while the poster session on Tuesday afternoon featured a total of 16 posters.
Tuesday’s oral and poster sessions were followed by a banquet and awards ceremony at the Gaucho Brazilian Barbecue, on Main Street, in Canmore, AB. PPSA attendees enjoyed a vast array of Brazilian food including a large selection of barbequed meat. Some attendees also enjoyed a Caipirinha or two, which is Brazil’s national cocktail made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar, and muddled lime. The awards ceremony featured recognition of recipients of the PPSA Scholarship, and presentations for the best student and technician oral presentations and the best technician poster presentation. The awards were as follows: PPSA Scholarship of $1000.00 was awarded to Samira Safarieskandari, University of Alberta; Best Student Oral Presentation $100.00 was awarded to Krista Zuzak, University of Alberta; Best Technician Oral Presentation $100.00 was awarded to Michele Frick, Lethbridge Research Centre, AAFC; Best Technician Poster Presentation $100.00 was awarded to Michael Holtz, AARD Lacombe. The student and technical staff award recipients also received copies of the History of Plant Pathology in Canada. Not presented at the awards ceremony in Canmore, but done at a later date was the T. Swanson Scholarship $1000.00 awarded to Barbara Ziesman, University of Alberta.
On Wednesday morning the 2014 PPSA meeting wrapped up with the final oral paper session and
the annual PPSA business meeting.
The Local Organizing Committee would like to graciously thank the sponsors of the 2014 Annual
PPSA meeting including: Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola Commission, Alberta Wheat Commission, Rahr Malting Co. Inc., BASF, Bayer CropScience, Syngenta, 20/20 Seed Labs Inc., and BioVision Seed Labs, Inc., for their generous support. The organizers would also like to thank the attendees of the 2014 PPSA meeting for helping to create a stimulating scientific program on plant pathology research and for their camaraderie during the meeting.
The local arrangements committee for the 2014 PPSA meeting included:
Kelly Turkington (Chair)
Deb Clark (Meeting venue, accommodation and meals)
Noryne Rauhala (Registration and reception)
Jackie Busaan (Reception and general meeting arrangements)
Krishan Kumar (Abstracts)
Kequan Xi (Scientific program)
Michael Holtz (A/V and technology)
Linda Vandermaar (General meeting arrangements and posters)
Robyne Bowness (Posters)
The local arrangements committee would like to extend a special thank you to Deb Clark. Deb was
instrumental in arranging for the meeting venue, accommodations, and the banquet. The 2014 PPSA meeting was Deb’s final meeting as she is now retired from AAFC. Deb’s meeting and banquet organizational skills and expertise will be greatly missed by her colleagues at Lacombe.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the 2014 PPSA meeting Local Organizing Committe,
T. Kelly Turkington
Above: View of the Rocky Mountains from the Best Western Plus,
Pocaterra Inn, October 2014
Above: PPSA Attendees 2014