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Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology
Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology

Listen to a "Lost Women of Science" podcast about Flora Patterson, featured in the book, by Amy Rossman and Sandra Anagnastakis.

"This book pays a meritorious tribute to those tireless and eminent women who contributed or are still greatly contributing to the science of plant pathology in America and in Europe."
—Nematologia Mediterranea

Item No. 43597
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Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology is a biographical book on the early women scientists who led the way for others in the field of plant pathology. These untold stories about 27 fascinating women discuss their struggles and triumphs as early women in the science.

With contributions from 37 talented writers and more than 130 figures, we are given a true picture of the challenges these women faced on their way to important discoveries. The authors do a wonderful job presenting the scientific achievements of these women in the context of their time. We also get glimpses into the character of these women that show us how their personal attributes and talents helped them achieve great things.

This will be a great read for any of the women of plant pathology today and also the men who work beside them. As a historical book, it will be appropriate for introductory or graduate level plant pathology courses that teach about the early studies of plant disease. Women’s studies, agriculture, and science history classes could also use this as a supplementary text. Historians of science will also find this an interesting look into the past.

The 27 wonderful stories in the book are enhanced by historical documentation, samples of original research and published articles, reference material, and printed historical accounts. With APS turning 100 in 2008, it is fitting that this book arrived to help commemorate plant pathology’s important contributions during the Society’s centennial celebration year.

Listen to excerpts from Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology!

Click below to listen to an excerpt
from the chapter about Virginia R. Ferris.


Excerpt read by Cleo D'Arcy.

Click below to listen to an excerpt
from the chapter about Katherine Esau.

Excerpt read by Rose Gergerich.

 Click below to listen to an excerpt
 from the chapter about Mary Dilys Glynne.

 Excerpt read by Jean Beagle Ristaino.

Click below to listen to an excerpt
from the chapter about Rosalind Franklin.

Excerpt read by Rose Gergerich.

Click below to listen to an excerpt
from the chapter about Ruth F. Allen.

 Excerpt read by Cleo D'Arcy. 

Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology


Early Women in the United States and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Mary Elizabeth Banning

Christina Matta

Effie A. Southworth

Jean Beagle Ristaino and Paul Peterson

Flora W. Patterson

Amy Y. Rossman

Vera Katherine Charles

Amy Y. Rossman

Charlotte Elliott

Christina Matta

Anna E. Jenkins

Mary E. Palm

Edna Marie Buhrer and Grace Whitney Sherman Cobb

Susan L. F. Meyer and David J. Chitwood

Women Plant Pathologists in Europe

Mary Dilys Glynne

Geoffrey A. Salt

Mary T. Franklin

John Bridge, David J. Hunt, and Peter S. Gooch

Audrey M. Shepherd

Roland N. Perry

Marion Augusta Watson

Bryan D. Harrison

Eva Sansome

Clive Brasier

Grace Marion Waterhouse

B. L. Brady, D. J. Stamps, and Jean Beagle Ristaino

Johanna Westerdijk

Jan C. Zadoks and Ariena H. C. van Bruggen

Mathilde Bensaúde

Manuel M. Mota

Maria de Lourdes Vieira Borges

José Constantino Sequeira, Pedro Amaro, and Kurt R. Gegenhuber

Rosalind Franklin

Sue A. Tolin

North American University Faculty and Private Practitioners

Helen Margaret Gilkey

Donald H. Pfister and Lisa DeCesare

Cynthia Westcott

R. Kenneth Horst

Katherine Esau

Jennifer Thorsch

Margaret Newton

James A. Kolmer

Helen Hart

Kurt R. Gegenhuber

Ruth F. Allen

Polly H. Goldman, Ann Yarwood Goldman, and Carolee T. Bull

Anne Marie Kopecky Vidaver

Carol A. Ishimaru and Jan Leach

Virginia R. Ferris

Robert McSorley

Hedwig Hirschmann Triantaphyllou

J. D. Eisenback, J. G. Baldwin, and K. R. Barker

In this video, Sophien Kamoun briefly introduces the inspiring book "Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology." Learn about pioneering woman plant pathologists Johanna Westerdijk, Eva Sansome, and Rosalind Franklin.
— KamounLab, Norwich, UK

"I loved reading this book. As a graduate student in the 1960's, I heard stories about the exploits of women who commanded attention at meetings and proved their hypotheses with clearly stated facts. These stories gave me the courage to report my work and this book will be an inspiration to women and men who continue the search for scientific knowledge."
 —Sandra L. Anagnostakis
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
New Haven, CT, USA
Published in Inoculum

"...amply illustrated with black-and-white photographs and diagrams. One will find it a pleasure to read about the accomplishments of all these brilliant scientists. Highly recommended."
—CHOICE (Current Reviews for Academic Libraries)

"These chapters describe the lives and accomplishments of the early women plant pathologists in a way that is both moving and scholarly. The unifying theme is that our foremothers in this field loved their science so well that they persisted and succeeded in the face of considerable explicit prejudice. Their stories remind us that we are fortunate to work freely on the subject that fascinates us. Moreover, readers may be surprised to learn how many bricks in the foundation of plant pathology were laid by these persistent women."
—Caitilyn Allen
Professor of Plant Pathology and Affiliate Professor of Women's Studies
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

“This fascinating book contains chapters on 26 women plant pathologists starting with Mary Banning who worked on the fungi of Maryland between the 1860’s and the 1890’s. A few of the subjects, born in the early years of the last century, are still alive in their 80s and 90s, a testament to the benefits of plant pathology. Each chapter has been written by one or more authors with a particular knowledge of the scientist in question and in several cases, the authors were, or still are, personally acquainted with their subject. I can recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of our subject and particularly to my fellow female plant pathologists.”
—Plant Pathology

“Pioneering breakthroughs by these women are truly amazing…a factual basis for informing students of “the full history of our science.”
—IMPnet News

..many chapters tell of major achievements by remarkable people… an appropriate one for university libraries and institutes concerned with microbiology, and for plant pathologists with historical interests.”
—Microbiology Today

“It is recommended that this book be on the shelves of every plant pathology department library, not only to show the valuable contributions made by these scientists, but also to show the courage and dedication of these pioneering women in the face of the prejudices of those times. It is most interesting to read, and gives one a very good indication of what these plant pathologists have contributed to this field.”
—The Canadian Field-Naturalist

"Reading Pioneering Women in Plant Pathology brings you into contact with a host of fascinating fellow scientists across barriers of both time and geography—we’ve known some of their names, but we’ve had very little idea of the lives and career paths of most of the female plant pathologists who have gone before us. I especially enjoyed making the acquaintance of some of the ladies whose life’s work helped me directly, such as Anna Jenkins, who had the (incredible) patience to study the spot anthracnose pathogen of dogwoods, and Cynthia Westcott, whose indomitable spirit and successful career long ago convinced Cornell’s Department of Plant Pathology that women could be pathologists of ornamental plants.

"If you feel the need to learn from every book you read, you won’t be disappointed in this volume: as you read the biographies of these pioneering pathologists you’ll learn from their discoveries while you marvel at their dedication."
—Margery Daughtrey
Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University
and Editor-in-Chief, APS PRESS

“This book pays a meritorious tribute to those tireless and eminent women who contributed or are still greatly contributing to the science of plant pathology in America and in Europe.”
—Nematologia Mediterranea

Publish Date: 2008
Format: 6" x 9" hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-89054-359-7
Pages: 352
Images: 131 black and white images
Publication Weight: 2 lbs

Edited by Jean Beagle Ristaino

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