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K-State's plant pathology head named fellow of Phytopathology Society

The head of Kansas State University's department of plant pathology is receiving two honors in his field.

John Leslie, professor of plant pathology, has been named a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. The designation is awarded in recognition of distinguished contributions to plant pathology or the society. It is limited to no more than 0.25 percent of the society's membership in any one year.

The American Phytopathological Society is a nonprofit, professional scientific organization. The research of the organization's more than 5,000 worldwide members advances the understanding of the science of plant pathology and its application to plant health.

More information about Leslie and his fellowship with the American Phytopathological Society is available online at

Leslie also is being named an adjunct professor at Seoul National University in South Korea. The university awards adjunct professorships as an honor and as a way to recognize professors working together with their faculty. Leslie said he will be the first adjunct professor in Seoul National University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"Seoul National University is the top-ranked university in Korea, and is one of Asia's and the world's leading universities," Leslie said. "K-State's collaborative relationship with them is a way to bring some of Korea's brightest students to Manhattan for mutually beneficial research and educational opportunities.

"It is a great honor to be the first adjunct professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I am looking forward to continuing the nearly decade-long collaboration with my colleagues in Korea on the genetics of fungi that cause diseases of corn and wheat and the toxins that these fungi produce."

Leslie's research interests at K-State include biochemical, molecular and population genetics of model and plant pathogenic fungi. He has edited or co-authored six books and published more than 130 academic journal articles. He holds a patent for a biological method for the recovery of water used in phosphate strip mining.

His interests in population genetics have led him to travel to more than 40 countries to collect Fusarium, a type of fungus, and to conduct collaborative research. He has lead workshops that trained more than 500 scientists to work with Fusarium fungi at K-State and in Australia, South Africa, Italy and Malaysia.

Leslie joined K-State in 1984 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1990 and full professor in 1996. He was named department head in 2006. He earned doctoral and master's degrees in genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas.


Contact: John Leslie
Kansas State University

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