PULLMAN — Olufemi J. Alabi, a doctoral graduate student in WSU’s plant pathology department, has been selected as a Student Fellow by the American Phytopathological Society.

Alabi, a native of Nigeria, will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March to participate in a national summit on The Future of Education and Related Disciplines, organized by the APS Committee on the Future of Plant Pathology Education. He was nominated by his major professor, Naidu Rayapati, assistant professor of plant pathology. Rayapati is a grape virologist at the WSU Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center.

“Femi is studious and inquisitive and has the ability to put his research experiences into perspective for the benefit of society – an essential requirement for the future generation of scientists,” Rayapati said.

Alabi is working on two research projects related to virus diseases of perennial crops. One is focused on the epidemiology, diagnosis and molecular characterization of whitefly-transmitted begomoviruses infecting cassava and soybean in Nigeria. He also is working on the epidemiology and genetic diversity of grapevine viruses. He is collaborating with scientists at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria and USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis, Ore.