Pierluigi Bonello

Profile

  • Time Zone
    Eastern

  • Organization
    The Ohio State University

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My research interests range from understanding the molecular mechanisms of tree-pathogen interactions to ways to harness such knowledge to improve forest health management. I have conducted fundamental research to try and elucidate basic mechanisms of resistance, the phenomenon known as systemic induced resistance (SIR) in trees against pathogens and insects, and cross-induction effects between fungal pathogens and insects mediated by the host tree. A recent and very exciting derivation of this fundamental work has been the development of spectroscopic techniques to rapidly and non-destructively phenotype trees for resistance to invasive pathogens causing diseases of great significance, such as sudden oak death in California, white pine blister rust in the Pacific Northwest, and ash dieback in Europe. For this work, in 2019 I received an award for Outstanding Innovation from the Reduce Risk of Invasive Species Coalition. FOr other details please see https://plantpath.osu.edu/our-people/pierluigi-enrico-bonello

  • Profile Question 1
    Can you describe your attitude toward science when you were in high school?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    I have always been interested in science, one way or another. In elementary school back in Italy I dreamed of being a doctor one day. Then in high school I had an excellent science teacher and became absolutely enamored with astronomy and biology. For biology I engaged in plant research and I was hooked. At the same time, I became very interested in the natural environment, especially in forest ecosystems. Everything about nature and ecology became a real passion. I used to read Scientific American, and the equivalent of the National Geographic Magazine in Italy. I watched countless hours of science shows on TV. I found everything about nature fascinating, inspiring (I absolutely still do!), and I spent as much time as I could in forests. That led me to choosing Forest Science for a University degree.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I would say the best thing about being a scientist is that your life is never boring! Every day brings new questions to satisfy your curiosity, in my case about the natural world. It's a journey of continuous discovery. It's really cool!

  • Profile Question 3
    What was the first science experiment you ever designed? How did it turn out?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    This is a funny story. Back in high school I was in a group project investigating some aspects of river health in my hometown. For that project we had to collect water samples. So we set out and headed to a bridge so we could lower bottles to be filled with river water using string or something. All of a sudden police show up at both ends of the bridge, guns drawn, asking what we were doing. Apparently some very "conscientious citizen" (probably an old lady somewhere!) had called the police to report a group of youngsters handling drugs or some other dangerous substance. Once everything was cleared, we had a good laugh with the police and everything was fine. We were able to conduct our experiment and all lived happy ever after!

  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:
    Italian

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?
    2

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