Soledad Benitez Ponce

Special guest

I received my BS in Biological Sciences from Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUCE), Quito-Ecuador in 2002. After a two-year research and teaching position at PUCE I moved on to my PhD training in Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University (OSU). I graduated from OSU in 2008. Upon graduation I had the opportunity to teach in Ecuador, at Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas (ESPE), where I began working on aspects of tuber blight suppression in Andean soils, in collaboration with Oklahoma State University and the International Potato Center. From there I moved on and worked in two postdoc programs, at Duke University and a USDA Research laboratory in South Dakota, respectively. At both locations my research was focused on high-through put approaches for plant-associated microbial community analysis, with particular interest in seedling endophytes. I joined as faculty at the Plant Pathology Department at OSU in August 2017, as Assistant Professor. At my current position I study the diversity and function of soil and plant-associated microorganisms and their contributions to plant health. Specifically, my research program focuses on a) agricultural management practices effects on plant-associated microbial community dynamics; b) endophythic microbiome establishment and factors affecting endophytic microbiome composition; and c) relationships between plant microbiome diversity and dynamics and plant disease incidence. In addition, I aim to understand how these complex interactions can contribute to the success and stability of microbial inoculants in crop production.

Soledad Benitez Ponce has been a guest on 1 episode.