Franca Rossi


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    Driscolls Strawberry Associates

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

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    My research interests include microbiology, plant physiology and genetics. I have previously worked on research studying the efficacy of biological control on foodborne pathogens on fruits and vegetables. My current focus is host resistance in specialty crops. I am working with a multitude of fungal and bacterial pathogens on rubus and strawberry. I am studying the heredity of plant resistance and working on developing molecular markers for the resistance.

  • Profile Question 1
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    As a scientist I have the incredible opportunity to see and gain a deeper understanding of plant pathogen interactions. I love receiving plant samples, isolating tissue from plants showing symptoms of a pathogen infection and then identifying the bacteria or fungus that may have been associated with the plant decline. Seeing the isolated bacterial cells and fungal spores under the microscope brings me so much joy. I feel so blessed to be able to study and see the beautiful world that is unseen to the naked eye.

  • Profile Question 2
    Can you describe your attitude toward science when you were in high school?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    I found science to be extremely challenging and exciting in high school. I was blessed to have enthusiastic teachers who instilled in me the rational and creativity of the scientific method. Additionally, my passion for the sciences was heightened by teachers who incorporated scientific experiments and projects into the curriculum; difficult and sometimes abstract concepts became tangible.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is a typical day like for you?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Although there is no typical day as a plant pathologist there are tasks that must be done regularly . These include the maintenance of fungal and bacterial pathogens, preparation of inoculum for host resistance assays, and diagnosis of plant samples for pathogen infection.

  • Availability
    I am currently available for mentoring, please send me team match invitations

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

Skills & Endorsements

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