Graduate Research Assistant June 2014 to CurrentKansas State University － Manhattan, Kansas
Developed predictive models for rice blast, Magnaporthe oryzae Oryza, epidemics in the Southern United States.
Quantified the influence of freeze-thaw cycles on the survival of the wheat blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum.
Forecast Models Forecasted rice blast epidemics in the Southern United States by identifying favorable environmental conditions for the pathogen using classification tree analysis for variable selection in JMP Pro.
Rice blast models were developed using logistic regression in STATA.
Models were validated using cross validation techniques in STATA.
Developed meteorological weather variables from hourly weather data for 3 locations over 29 years using Excel and JMP Pro.
Biosecurity Level 3 Laboratory Quantified the effect of several moisture and freeze regimes on wheat blast infected wheat heads from Bolivia.
Designed the final experiment and developed a detailed schedule to ensure the treatments were being exposed to the correct amount of freezing, thawing, and incubation times.
Measured the weight, length, spore production and germination of each replicate within the treatments.
Analyzed data using Excel and SAS.
Completed biosafety training program for laboratory personnel for the Biosecurity Research Institute.
Field Research Participated in disease scouting for stripe rust, leaf rust, and Fusarium, along with other agronomic traits such as germination and drought stress.
Assisted in spraying fungicides on wheat plots.
Tested seed treatment fungicides for control of Fusarium species.
Agronomy Intern January 2012Ag Valley Coop － Norton, KS
Scouted soybeans and corn for weeds, insects, and diseases.
Collected tissue and soil samples for nutritional and fertility analyses.
Discussed spray and sampling plans with growers.
Undergraduate Lab Assistant January 2011 to January 2014Kansas State University － Manhattan, Kansas
Fusarium Population Study Plated the seed of seven corn hybrids onto potato dextrose agar.
Isolated Fusarium colonies from the seeds and transferred to potato dextrose agar or nash snyder.
Each isolate was single-spored using a glass needle.
Germinated spores were transferred to slants of complete media.
After several days a solution was made with the single-spore colony and transferred to complete media broth.
These were placed in a shaker and incubated for several days to allow enough growth for a DNA extraction.
After the DNA extraction, a PCR and gel electrophoresis was done on each isolate.
If the isolate was amplified, then a PCR purification was completed and sent to sequencing.
The sequence was compared to the BLAST database to identify the species of Fusarium.
The species identified by sequencing were also confirmed by morphological characteristics.
I did each of these steps for 244 isolates and maintained a working inventory.
Performed disease inoculations and screenings of corn, onions, and apples with the Fusarium isolates.
Updated the lab inventory each year, assisted with ordering of materials, prepared chemical solutions, dilutions, and media.
Epidemiology of Fusarium in Corn Assisted PhD student with transforming Fusarium with Green and Red Fluorescent Proteins using Agrobacterium.
The transformed isolates were used as part of a greater study to increase the knowledge of the epidemiology of Fusarium proliferatum in corn.
Fungicide Efficacy Project Tested varying rates of fungicides on Fusarium proliferatum and verticillioides.
Measured the colony sizes on potato dextrose agar.
National Plant Diagnostic Network Laboratory Experience Assisted in developing PCR protocols for wheat viruses.
Tested these protocols on wheat samples that were sent to the Kansas State Plant Diagnostic Lab.
Performed RNA extractions, reverse transcriptions, and PCR on the wheat samples.
Plated several species of plant pathogenic bacteria and performed DNA extractions to develop PCR protocols.
Trait Development Intern
Monsanto, Manhattan, KS 2013 Field Work Maintained corn plots in seven locations.
Collected data on stand counts, flowering, and plant height notes.
Research Project Analyzed WaveVision seed sensor counts and corn stand counts to determine whether the seed sensors were counting consistently at the beginning of planting for each location.
This data was used to ensure the sensors were calibrated accurately.
The research was presented at the Monsanto biotechnology headquarters in Chesterfield, MO.
M.S : Plant Pathology, June 28, 2016Kansas State University － Manhattan, KSPlant Pathology Advisor: Dr. Erick De Wolf
Thesis Title: "Foundations of risk assessment models for wheat blast in the United States"
Areas of Expertise: Plant pathogenic fungi, biosecurity, BSL-3 lab experience, epidemiology, and disease modeling.
B.S : Agronomy Plant Science and Biotechnology, May 2014Kansas State University － Manhattan, KSAgronomy Plant Science and Biotechnology
Fischer, T.D. and DeWolf, E.D. 2015. Developing a risk assessment for predicting where major outbreaks of wheat blast could occur in the US based on rice blast predictive models. American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting. Pasadena, California, August 1-5, 2015.
*Fischer, T.D., Bockus, W.W., DeWolf, E.D. 2016. Developing a risk assessment for predicting where major outbreaks of wheat blast could occur in the US based on the pathogen's freeze-thaw tolerance. 2nd International Workshop on Wheat Blast. Florianopolis, Brazil. April 9, 2016.
Membership in Professional Societies and Campus Clubs American Phytopathological Society (APS) 2015 Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Candidate 2015 Plant Pathology Graduate Student Club 2014-2016 Secretary/Treasurer 2015 KSU Wheat State Agronomy Club 2011-2014 Crop contest committee chair at SASES National Meetings
Honors and Awards Graduate Student Travel Award (KSU) 2015 Department of Agronomy Mickelson (Lewis G) Scholarship 2013-2014 Department of Agronomy Bush (Eugene) Memorial Fund 2012-2013 Department of Agronomy Carls Family Scholarship Fund 2012-2013 Kansas State University Leadership Scholarship 2010-2011 State of Kansas Scholarship 2010-2014 Membership in Professional Societies and Campus Clubs American Phytopathological Society (APS) 2015 Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) Candidate 2015 Plant Pathology Graduate Student Club 2014-2016 Secretary/Treasurer 2015 KSU Wheat State Agronomy Club 2011-2014 Crop contest committee chair at SASES National Meetings