Available Speakers by Topic

Analytical Chemistry

Analysis of Pesticides in Produce Using Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry. A discussion of new analytical procedures developed for the analysis of non-volatile or water soluble pesticides in produce. Brian D. Eitzer (203) 974-8453 Brian.Eitzer@ct.gov 

Beekeeping Basics. This presentation will highlight a modern beehive structure and describe the communal organization of bees within a hive.  The life cycle of worker bees and basic bee genetics will be covered.  A brief history of beekeeping  will be included. Mark Creighton (203) 974-8467 Mark.Creighton@ct.gov
Honey Bees, History and Domestication. A talk that describes the origin, history and domestication of honey bees. The movement of bees moved around the world and the development of modern apiculture are discussed. Mark Creighton (203) 974-8467 Mark.Creighton@ct.gov 
Planting for the Bees’ Needs. Bees are critically important for pollination of our crops and our native plants. We get many of our ideas about bees from what we know of honey bees, but honey bees are only one of the 349 species we have in Connecticut. In this talk, Dr. Kimberly Stoner describes the diversity of bees and their life cycles, and how we can create habitat for them to survive and thrive. She also discusses the routes by which bees are exposed to pesticides and the controversies over restricting or banning certain pesticides because of their effects on bees. Kimberly A. Stoner (203) 974-8480 Kimberly.Stoner@ct.gov

Bees and Pesticides: Challenges in Measurement and Toxicology. This talk would encompass background information about bees and pesticides. This would include the difficulties associated with field toxicology;  how to determine the field relevant dose including the analytical challenges in measurement;  synergism due to the exposure to multiple pesticides at the same time;  and the issues with neonicotinoids. Brian D. Eitzer (203) 974-8453  Brian.Eitzer@ct.gov 

Bedding Plants

Disease Problems of Bedding Plants. This talk will discuss basic principles of plant pathology and their application in bedding plant disease control in greenhouses. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov 

Christmas Trees

Disease Management in Christmas Tree Production. In Christmas tree production, disease can reduce growth, make trees unsightly, and even kill trees. Accurate disease diagnosis, early detection, and understanding disease development are important for appropriate disease management strategies. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov 


Factors Influencing the Biological and Physical Availability of Chemicals in Contact with Soil Particles. Adsorption of chemical contaminants to soil particles and the reverse, desorption, appear to be gradual, often requiring months to complete. I will discuss the ramifications of these slow processes to the leaching potential and biological availability to exposed organisms of soil-borne chemicals. Joseph J. Pignatello (203) 974-8518  Joseph.Pignatello@ct.gov

Development of Hydrogen Peroxide-based Techniques for Destruction of Chemical Pollutants in Water and Soil. I will discuss our methods for purifying soil and water using a safe and inexpensive oxidizing agent and environmentally friendly catalysts (iron salts and solar light). Joseph J. Pignatello (203) 974-8518  Joseph.Pignatello@ct.gov

Fungicide 101. Applying fungicides is an important component in plant disease management programs. Correct use of fungicides can increase efficacy, reduce inputs, and prevent potential health and environmental effects. This talk will discuss major definitions and principles of fungicides, including classification, mode of action, role in protection, and resistance management. Yonghao Li  (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov


Deer and Rabbit Repellent Effectiveness in Connecticut. Deer and rabbits can cause increased damage to vegetable gardens and flower beds, frustrating residential gardeners. Where deer/rabbit removal or fencing is not feasible, repellents can be used successfully. This talk reports repellent effectiveness results from various trials we have conducted over the years using different commercially available products. Scott C. Williams (203) 974-8609 Scott.Williams@ct.gov 

Deer Management Strategies. Overabundant deer can be a direct threat to public safety in terms of vehicle collisions and increased tick abundances and can threaten native and residential landscapes. Deer management can be a very emotional topic, on both sides of the issue. This talk focuses on alternatives to lethal management and frankly discusses the effectiveness of the various traditional and nontraditional techniques. Scott C. Williams (203) 974-8609 Scott.Williams@ct.gov 

Deer as Transporters of Exotic Plant Seeds.
 Deer consume many pounds of vegetation daily and retain it for 24 hours before depositing its remnants elsewhere. When thinking of animals dispersing seeds, most people think birds as being the main player. While this may be true, our research has shown that deer are surprisingly large contributors to seed dispersal, of primarily the seeds of exotic plants. Scott C. Williams (203) 974-8609 Scott.Williams@ct.gov

Fertilizers, Soils, and Soil Testing

Improving Soil in the Home Garden. Healthy plant require fertile soil. The basics of soil improvement for homeowners are discussed. They include; pH adjustment, organic matter additions, types of fertilizers and soil testing. Gregory J. Bugbee (203) 974-8512 Gregory.Bugbee@ct.gov

Soil Testing. Over 10,000 soil samples are tested each year at CAES. An overview of the procedure is discussed. Gregory J. Bugbee (203) 974-8512  Gregory.Bugbee@ct.gov

Earthworms and Soil Health. Earthworms are important for processing organic matter and for maintaining soil health. Dr. Elmer will present an overview of the different kinds of earthworms that are found in  Connecticut and will discuss their role in processing organic matter and how earthworms help to increase soil health.  He will also discuss his research on earthworms and show how their activity can suppress certain soilborne diseases of vegetables. Wade H. Elmer (203) 974-8503  Wade.Elmer@ct.gov


A Natural History of Target Canker of Birch. Neonectria ditissima, the causal agent of Target Canker (also known as Neonectria Canker), is an ascomycete fungus that has been described as “the most widespread and damaging species” of northeastern forests.  While the fungus produces perennial cankers on a wide range of broad-leaved trees in temperate eastern forests, it is notably associated with beech bark disease, and causes particularly disfiguring cankers on black birch (Betula lenta), a native of northeastern forests. Neonectria Canker is also an important disease of fruit trees, particularly apple and pear.  This talk will cover the biology and natural history of the disease, and discuss methods being used to study how changes in forest composition over the past 100 years have altered the dynamics of this disease. Robert E. Marra (203) 974-8508 Robert.Marra@ct.gov 

Ramorum Blight: Is Phytophthora ramorum a Threat to Connecticut’s Forests and Landscapes? P. ramorum  has been devastating the coastal oak forests of California and Oregon for at least ten years. The pathogen has a wide host range that includes species native to the Northeast (for example, oak, rhododendron, and mountain laurel), as well as numerous species important to the nursery industries of both the West Coast and Connecticut.  Because of the high volume of plant material shipped from the West Coast to Connecticut, surveys of Connecticut nurseries are conducted annually to monitor for presence of the pathogen.  This talk will include an overview of the biology and history of this important disease, a discussion of the threat the pathogen could pose to our forests and landscapes, and the diagnostic strategies used in monitoring and detection. Robert E. Marra (203) 974-8508 Robert.Marra@ct.gov


Managing our Forests - Tree-by-Tree Landowners and concerned citizens should be committed to sound forest management based on the best science available. Proactive management is an essential component of responsible forest stewardship. Jeffrey S. Ward (203) 974-8495  Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

A Short History of the Connecticut Forest. Viewed across the landscape, the forests covering our hillsides and valleys seem as though they have always been there. However, the resilient Connecticut forest has undergone dramatic changes over the past 400 years and earlier. This talk will cover the changes in our forests since the ice age, and what the future forest may look like. Jeffrey S. Ward (203) 974-8495  Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Healthy Forests, Healthy People. After decades of research involving ticks and different forested habitats, we have concluded that forests in poor health, in general, have the highest tick abundances and largest risk to the public. This talk will discuss what makes a forest unhealthy, will show tick abundances in different forested settings, and will provide a justification for proper forest management to benefit wildlife and the public alike. Scott C. Williams (203) 974-8609 Scott.Williams@ct.gov 


Growing Grapes in Connecticut: Culture, Cultivars, Weather and Disease. Francis J. Ferrandino (203) 974-8504  Francis.Ferrandino@ct.gov

Backyard Small Fruits 101Berries have high nutritional values and full of health benefits.  Since some of them generally don't require too much space and are low-maintenance, you can enjoy fresh fruit from early summer through late fall by growing them in your backyards. This talk will discuss how to select and grow easy and quick yielding berries in your home gardens. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov


A Natural History of Target Canker of Birch. Neonectria ditissima, the causal agent of Target Canker (also known as Neonectria Canker), is an ascomycete fungus that has been described as “the most widespread and damaging species” of northeastern forests.  While the fungus produces perennial cankers on a wide range of broad-leaved trees in temperate eastern forests, it is notably associated with beech bark disease, and causes particularly disfiguring cankers on black birch (Betula lenta), a native of northeastern forests. Neonectria Canker is also an important disease of fruit trees, particularly apple and pear.  This talk will cover the biology and natural history of the disease, and discuss methods being used to study how changes in forest composition over the past 100 years have altered the dynamics of this disease. Robert E. Marra (203) 974-8508 Robert.Marra@ct.gov  

Fungi in Forests and Landscapes:  Friends or Foes? Most people can recognize a mushroom when they see one, but have you ever wondered how that mushroom got there?  And what it’s doing there, anyway?  Ever wondered about that yellow blob that seems to appear spontaneously in your mulch or on your lawn?  Did you know that many plants, including the trees in our forests, could not survive without the important associations their roots establish with fungi?  This talk will introduce the audience to the fascinating world of that poorly understood Kingdom Fungi. Robert E. Marra (203) 974-8508 Robert.Marra@ct.gov

Introduction to Mycology: The Study of Fungi.  This presentation introduces the Kingdom Fungi, through an introduction to what defines a fungus, and an overview of the breadth and diversity of this fascinating and important group of organisms, taking you well beyond the realm of visible mushrooms and into the less easily viewed world of fungi that live underground, and those that cause plant and animal diseases. Robert E. Marra (203) 974-8508 Robert.Marra@ct.gov


All About Fungi and Fungicides – What Every Gardener Needs to Know. Delve into the fascinating world of fungi and gain a deeper understanding of how to manage fungal diseases in the garden. Learn what makes fungi unique in the plant disease world, and how to identify common garden fungal problems. Then learn all about how you can manage fungal diseases in your garden with both synthetic and organic fungicides. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov



Container Gardening Indoors and Out. Growing plants in pots requires different strategies than growing plants in the ground. Topics discussed are; choosing the right potting soil and pots, selecting the proper plants, fertilizing and watering, starting plants from seeds and cuttings. Gregory J. Bugbee (203) 974-8512 Gregory.Bugbee@ct.gov

Strategies for Reducing Deer Browse Damage. A five step program for preventing and reducing deer browse damage to landscape plants. Jeffrey S. Ward (203) 974-8495 Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Disease Management in Organic Gardens.  Organic vegetables are becoming more popular as people worry more about health and safety issues associated with the foods they eat. A big challenge for growers and homeowners is to manage diseases without using pesticides in organic gardens. This presentation will discuss eco-friendly approaches to disease management by understanding pathogen features, disease cycles, host resistance, environmental factors, and biological control agents. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov 

Principles of Organic Gardening. More and more growers and gardeners are interested in growing plants organically because it is beneficial for every levels of life: soil, plants, animals, environments, and human health. This talk will explain the basic elements of successful organic gardening including site selection, soil preparation, garden design, irrigation, mulching, fertilization, and disease management. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Pruning 101. Pruning is an important horticultural skill and an art for us to keep our gardens in good order and beauty. This talk will cover why, when, where and how to prune trees and shrubs to maintain structural strength and sustainability in landscapes and home gardens. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov 

Gardening with Native Plants. Gardening with native plants can conserve water, provide habitats for wildlife, and protect natural ecosystem. This topic will introduce some basic concepts of landscaping with native plants and discuss a general guideline for native plant selection, design, implementation, and maintenance of sustainable gardens. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Spring and Summer Gardening Tips. Spring and summer is a great time to be working in the garden for beauty and foods, but you might encounter a number of puzzling issues. This presentation will answer and discuss some common questions about general care, pruning, water management, fertilizing, and disease control in lawns, flower gardens, small fruits, and vegetable gardens. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Useful Tips for Container Gardening. Container gardening on a patio, deck or balcony allows you to grow plants in a limited space to enjoy fresh vegetables and fruits. Planting in containers also provides seasonal interests and color to your surroundings by using special plants, containers, and designs. This talk will discuss plants, containers, soil mixtures, irrigation, fertilization, and design in container gardening. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Straw Bale Gardening. Planting a garden in a straw bale is one of the thriftiest, most versatile ways to grow vegetables and herbs. Let me show you how. Mark Creighton (203) 974-8467 Mark.Creighton@ct.gov



Selection and Care of Houseplants. Growing living plants in apartments, condominiums, single family resistance, offices and public areas can provide pleasant indoor environment, purify air, and improve health.  This talk will take you the steps of how to choose right plants for the indoor conditions and how to care for houseplants through winter and year round. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov 


Introduction to Insects and Their Biology. For grammar school children about insects, including a demonstration. Charles R. Vossbrinck (203) 974-8522  Charles.Vossbrinck@ct.gov

General Entomology. The anatomy, physiology and development of insects; the behavior and ecology of insects; the introduction of the orders and the collection and preservation of arthropods in general. Gale E. Ridge (203) 974-8478 Gale.Ridge@ct.gov

Insects: The Good, the Bad, the Beautiful and the Just Plain Ugly. Through slide and specimens this course enters the world of insects showing the beautiful, the beneficial, the bad and the just plain ugly.  This course will concentrate on the pests of plants.  Morphology, life cycles, behaviors, and who eats what will be discussed. Rose Hiskes*, (860) 683-4977, Rose.Hiskes@ct.gov

Invasive Species

The Biodiversity Crisis. This talk will examine the negative effects of high deer densities and invasive plant infestations on wildflowers and forest regeneration and the link between invasives and increased risk of exposure to Lyme disease.. The management implications of a range of options to control invasives and browse damage will be presented along with development of local action plans. Jeffrey S. Ward (203) 974-8495 Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Identification and Management of Running Bamboo. Running bamboo (Phyllostachys spp.) is a non-native species can cause major disputes between neighbors if it crosses property lines. This talk will focus on identifying running bamboo, discuss its growth habits, and examine different methods of control. Jeffrey S. Ward (203) 974-8495 Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Japanese Barberry and Blacklegged Ticks: A Surprising Connection. Invasive Japanese barberry tends to grow in abandoned agricultural lands and can grow in very dense infestations. These infestations retain daily relative humidity which makes for ideal tick habitat. This talk highlights 10 years of research in which we document this relationship and can show that Japanese barberry management results in fewer ticks and tick-borne pathogen, thus lessening risk to public health. Scott C. Williams (203) 974-8609 Scott.Williams@ct.gov

Mosquitoes and Biting Flies 
Mosquito Blood-Feeding Behavior and the Risk of Human Infection with West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and other Viruses in Connecticut. Reviews of blood-feeding behavior of mosquitoes and their respective roles in transmission of human disease-causing viruses; vertebrate hosts of mosquitoes including avian species and their contribution to disease maintenance in nature. Goudarz Molaei(203) 974-8487  Goudarz.Molaei@ct.gov


Mosquitoes of Connecticut. An overview of the life histories of common mosquito species in Connecticut. John Shepard (203) 974-8543 John.Shepard@ct.gov


Mosquito Trapping and Testing in Connecticut. An overview of mosquito trapping and testing techniques in Connecticut for surveillance of West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and other  mosquito-borne viruses. John Shepard (203) 974-8543 John.Shepard@ct.gov


Reflections on the Ecology and Epidemiology of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the Northeastern United States: A Historical Perspective. In 2019, the northeastern eastern U.S. experienced the largest and most widespread outbreak of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in more than 50 years with 23 human cases including 8 fatalities and 42 equine cases across 7 states.  Although the scope of the outbreak was unprecedented for the region, it represented a recent trend of sustained resurgence and northward expansion of EEE activity in the northeast that began in 2003.  Factors contributing to this resurgence and expansion are complex but likely include (1) reforestation and wetland conservation, (2) suburban development adjacent to mosquito habitats and, (3) changes in average temperature and precipitation events related to climate change. In this presentation Dr. Andreadis will review the environmental, ecological and biological risk factors associated with EEE activity in the northeast and provide up-to-date information on the ecology, epidemiology, and management of EEE in the region including: the role of Culiseta melanura and other vector competent species in enzootic and/or epidemic transmission based on regional host feeding studies and virus isolation data, annual virus introduction via migrating birds and local overwintering based on phylogenetic studies of the virus, and challenges and issues concerning surveillance, human risk assessment, prevention, and both larval and adult control strategies. Theodore G. Andreadis (203) 974-8440 Theodore.Andreadis@ct.gov


West Nile Virus: A Retrospective Look at an Emerging Mosquito-Borne Disease in the Western Hemisphere. In the summer of 1999, West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne flavivirus native to Africa, Asia and Europe, was discovered in the western hemisphere for the first time when it caused an epidemic of human disease in New York City.  Over the course of four years this exotic virus, which likely originated from Israel, spread at an unprecedented rate across the United States and southern Canada, and has emerged as a major seasonal public health concern.  More than 50,000 human cases and 2,400 fatalities have been reported thus far and the virus has become a permanent part of the landscape.  In this lecture, Dr. Andreadis will review the emergence and spread of West Nile virus in North America, examine the ecology and epidemiology of the virus in the state, and describe Connecticut’s annual program to monitor and combat this mosquito-borne disease. Theodore G. Andreadis (203) 974-8440 Theodore.Andreadis@ct.gov

Ecology and Epidemiology of Mosquito-Borne Viruses in Connecticut: An Analysis from Twenty Years of Research and Surveillance. The ecology and epidemiology of a cadre of mosquito-borne viruses that cause human disease and currently circulate in Connecticut and the northeast, including Cache Valley, eastern equine encephalitis, Jamestown Canyon, LaCrosse and West Nile, will be presented based on over twenty years of arbovirus research and surveillance in the state. Theodore G. Andreadis (203) 974-8440 Theodore.Andreadis@ct.gov
Global Climate Change and Mosquito Borne Diseases. The potential impact of global climate change on the emergence and spread of exotic mosquitoes and both native and exotic mosquito borne diseases in the United States and elsewhere will be discussed. Theodore G. Andreadis (203) 974-8440 Theodore.Andreadis@ct.gov


Mulches and Compost

Mulches for the Home Garden. Proper selection of mulches to warm the soil (plastic) or cool the soil (hay, grass, leaves) will improve yields of heat tolerant vegetables or heat intolerant vegetables. Abigail A. Maynard (203) 974-8516 Abigail.Maynard@ct.gov

How to Compost. General guidelines and helpful hints for both the backyard and the large scale composter. Abigail A. Maynard (203) 974-8516 Abigail.Maynard@ct.gov

Utilization of Compost in the Garden. Different uses for compost in the garden, how compost affects the soil and the surrounding environment, how different vegetables respond to compost applications, what are the best combinations of fertilizer and compost to obtain optimum yields. Abigail A. Maynard (203) 974-8516 Abigail.Maynard@ct.gov

Seventy Years of Research on Waste Composting and Utilization at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.  How projects at an agricultural experiment station have uncovered practical methods for composters and users of compost, what the key areas are today. Abigail A. Maynard (203) 974-8516 Abigail.Maynard@ct.gov

Composting. Much of our organic waste stream can be composted and recycled as a soil amendment. Proper composting will create a better compost in a shorter period of time. Composting techniques and uses for the compost are discussed. Gregory J. Bugbee (203) 974-8512  Gregory.Bugbee@ct.gov

Compost for Nursery Crops. Compost can reduce production costs by replacing potting media amendments such as peat and bark. Large quantities of leaf and biosolids compost are currently available. This talk reviews station research on compost utilization by nurseries. Gregory J. Bugbee (203) 974-8512  Gregory.Bugbee@ct.gov

Backyard Composting. Adding compost to gardens each planting season can protect soil structure, feed the soil with nutrients, and promote soil microbes. This talk will discuss how to make compost with kitchen wastes, fallen leaves, and lawn clippings in backyards. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov


Plant Parts and Their Diseases.  An exercise designed for K to 3 children to teach different parts of a plant, basic functions of each part, and to show that tiny “germs” can cause plant diseases.  The exercise concludes with a lab where the children eat the plant parts with ranch dressing. Wade H. Elmer (203) 974-8503  Wade.Elmer@ct.gov

Plant Diseases

Asparagus Culture and Diseases. Dr. Elmer will address the cultural conditions required to grow asparagus in Connecticut. Asparagus is vulnerable to a destructive disease called Fusarium crown and root rot. Dr. Elmer will talk about the recent strategies designed to suppress this disease. Wade H. Elmer (203) 974-8503  Wade.Elmer@ct.gov

Sudden Vegetation Dieback. Sudden Vegetation Dieback (SVD) started to appear along Connecticut’s Long Island Sound in 1999, but was not fully recognized until 2002.  Although the causes are unknown, stress and plant pathogens have been implicated as factors that may contribute to SVD.  In this presentation, Dr. Elmer will address the different pathogens found in Connecticut’s salt marshes and will discuss their relative importance to SVD. Wade H. Elmer (203) 974-8503  Wade.Elmer@ct.gov

Airborne Spread of Plant Diseases. The biophysics of aerial dispersal of plant pathogenic fungus spores will be discussed. Application of principles will be illustrated with examples including the dispersal of the downy mildew fungus which causes blue mold on tobacco and the fungus which causes apple scab. Donald E. Aylor (203) 974-8528  Donald.Aylor@ct.gov

Minimizing the Effect of Plant Disease on Yield of Tomatoes. The use of resistant cultivars is very important in reducing the risk of yield-loss due to most soil-borne pathogens. Proper sanitation, crop rotation and cultural practices reduce the risk of plant damage due to foliar pathogens. Emphasis is placed on proper pruning and plant spacing to maintain good air drainage and watering from below to minimize leaf wetness. Francis J. Ferrandino (203) 974-8504  Francis.Ferrandino@ct.gov

Verticillium Wilt on Eggplant. Although no cultivars of eggplant are truly resistant to this disease, yield trials conducted in Connecticut over the past 10 years indicate that a number of cultivars maintain satisfactory yields even when affected by this wilt disease. The use of black plastic as a mulch and proper fertilization can also be beneficial in reducing the effects of this disease. Francis J. Ferrandino (203) 974-8504 Francis.Ferrandino@ct.gov

Biology and Ecology of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic worms which can cause plant disease in roots and shoots of important plants. James A. LaMondia* (860) 683-4982  James.LaMondia@ct.gov

Pathogens Which Cause Plant Disease. Fungi, nematodes, bacteria and viruses can all cause disease in plants. Examples of these diseases and the biology of the pathogens is discussed. James A. LaMondia* (860) 683-4982  James.LaMondia@ct.gov

Nematode Diseases of Herbaceous Perennial Ornamentals. A large number of ornamental species are attacked by root-knot or foliar nematodes. The biology, identification, and control of these pathogens is important in nursery and landscape settings. James A. LaMondia* (860) 683-4982  Jame.LaMondia@ct.gov

Fungicide Resistance and Plant Disease. The continued use of site-specific fungicides can select pathogenic fungi which are insensitive to these fungicides. Examples of fungicide resistance problems and ways to manage resistance are described. James A. LaMondia* (860) 683-4982  James.LaMondia@ct.gov

Principles of Plant Disease Management. This discussion will cover basic concepts of plant disease including causal agents, disease diagnostics, disease development, and integrated pest management that are important to manage plant disease problems in vegetable gardens, greenhouse production, and landscapes. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Common Diseases of Tomato and Pepper. This talk will discuss common diseases of tomatoes and peppers including their causal agents, symptoms, diagnostic features, disease development, and environmentally-friendly control strategies. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Nine Important Plant Diseases of Eastern North AmericaA 1-½ hour discussion of the history, diagnostics, and biology of each of the nine diseases that have been, continue to be, or may be of significance in our region: Beech Bark Disease, Ramorum Blight, Oak Wilt, Bacterial Leaf Scorch, Thousand Canker Disease, Chrysanthemum White Rust, Boxwood Plight, Plum Pox Virus, and Ash/Elm Yellows. This lecture should be suitable for First Detector Training programs. Note: This presentation can be scaled down to fit within a smaller time frame by discussing a subset of these diseases. Robert Marra (203) 974-8508 Robert.Marra@ct.gov

Common Diseases of Perennials. Diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, and phytoplasmas can be occasional problems in perennial gardens. This presentation will discuss common disease problems in perennials by emphasizing disease identification and strategies for disease prevention. Yonghao Li (203) 974-8565 Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Managing Diseases of Tomatoes in Greenhouses and High Tunnels. Producing tomatoes in greenhouses and high tunnels provides opportunities to extend and expand the markets over growing tomatoes in traditional, outdoor fields. The protected environment of greenhouse and high tunnel production pose unique challenges for disease prevention and management. This presentation will discuss how common diseases are affected by greenhouse and high tunnel environments and will review strategies for managing these problems. Yonghao Li, (203) 974-8565, Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Fire blight: how can I put out the fire when my apple trees look burned? 
Fire blight is one of the most devastating diseases of apples and pears. This presentation will cover the history of fire blight, symptoms and diagnostics, disease mechanisms, control strategies, and challenges in disease management. Quan Zeng, (203) 974-8613, Quan.Zeng@ct.gov 

Five common diseases of apple in New England. Apples are important specialty crops in New England.  This presentation will cover common diseases of apple in New England orchards and backyard gardens, from the aspects of disease symptoms, diagnostics, and management. Quan Zeng, (203) 974-8613, Quan.Zeng@ct.gov

An emerging disease of golf courses: bacterial decline and etiolation. Recently, a decline and etiolation disease caused by a bacterial pathogen Acidovorax avenae has been associated with severe damage of creeping bentgrass putting greens in the United States.  This presentation will cover the symptoms, diagnostics, mechanisms, and management of this disease. Quan Zeng, (203) 974-8613, Quan.Zeng@ct.gov 

Apple story (for K-6 children). An apple a day keeps the doctor away. But how are apples produced? I will bring apple flowers, immature apple fruits, and regular apples and tell the kids a story about how an apple tree produces apples. Lots of questions and discussions during the session. Other activities also include coloring and tasting of 5 different apples at the end. Presentation only available in May and need appointment. Quan Zeng, (203) 974-8613, Quan.Zeng@ct.gov

Common Diseases and Their Management in the Home Orchard. An integrated pest management approach is important and necessary to manage plant diseases and ensure crop yield and quality. This talk will discuss symptoms, disease development and control measures including proper cultural practices, resistant varieties, sanitation, and fungicides in the home orchard. Yonghao Li, (203) 974-8565, Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Important and Common Disease Problems in the Industry. Many growers and professionals are trying to solve disease problems by spending a large amount of money in fungicide applications in nurseries and landscapes. This talk will update common diseases of woody and herbaceous ornamentals and discuss more effective, economic, and environmentally-friendly disease management strategies. Yonghao Li, (203) 974-8565, Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Microorganisms and Plants (for middle school students). Microorganisms are living organisms that exist in soil, water and air, but they are often too small to be seen. Some microorganisms are beneficial, but some others are harmful. Plants can be attacked by harmful microorganism, which results in diseases. This lecture will give an introduction to plants, microorganisms, and their interactions across ecosystems. Yonghao Li, (203) 974-8565, Yonghao.Li@ct.gov

Plant Physiology and Growth

Plant Genetic Resistance-An Important Piece of Integrated Pest Management. Plant genetic resistance is one of the most important tools we have in fighting disease and insects. What does it really mean for a plant variety to be “resistant” to a disease or insect? How are new resistant plants bred (or engineered) and brought to the field? Why do some types of resistance fail after a few years, and others last a long time? Finally, what management strategies could be employed to make resistance genes more durable and effective? Lindsay R. Triplett, (203) 974-8611, Lindsay.Triplett@ct.gov


Lyme Disease and Tick Control. This talk covers the epidemiology of Lyme disease, the biology of the tick vector, the basic symptoms of Lyme disease, and tick bite prevention and tick control. The content of each talk is customized to the audience and time available. Kirby C. Stafford III, (203) 974-8485, Kirby.Stafford@ct.gov

Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Associated Diseases. This talk covers the three disease agents that cause Lyme disease, human babesiosis, and human ehrlichiosis which are transmitted by the "deer" tick, Ixodes scapularisKirby C. Stafford III, (203) 974-8485, Kirby.Stafford@ct.gov

Ticks and Tick-Associated Diseases.  Review of tick life cycle; tick species; saptiotemporal dynamics of tick infection with disease agents (Lyme disease spirochete, Babesia parasite, Anaplasma bacterium and Powassan virus) in Connecticut; CAES Tick Testing Program. Goudarz Molaei,(203) 974-8487, Goudarz.Molaei@ct.gov

Japanese Barberry and Blacklegged Ticks: A Surprising Connection. Invasive Japanese barberry tends to grow in abandoned agricultural lands and can grow in very dense infestations. These infestations retain daily relative humidity which makes for ideal tick habitat. This talk highlights 10 years of research in which we document this relationship and can show that Japanese barberry management results in fewer ticks and tick-borne pathogen, thus lessening risk to public health. Scott C. Williams, (203) 974-8609, Scott.Williams@ct.gov

Integrated Tick Management in Residential Connecticut. Nobody likes ticks, I mean nobody. You are most likely to pick up a tick (and potentially a pathogen they are carrying) on your own property, because that is where you likely spend the majority of your time. We have done research using different methods of tick control in differing combinations in residential areas throughout Connecticut that include targeting the ticks themselves, mice, and deer. This talk will discuss Lyme disease and tick ecology, will highlight the different products and strategies available, and reveal which combination with the least amount of toxicity was most effective. Scott C. Williams, (203) 974-8609, Scott.Williams@ct.gov 


Importance of Trees. A general talk for school children about the importance of trees for clean air, water, wildlife, and as a renewable resource. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

A History of Connecticut’s Forest. Covers the four major epochs of Connecticut’s forest since the early 1600s. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Tree Care: A Homeowner’s Guide. Guidelines of how to plant and maintain trees around homes. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Growing Chestnuts. Chestnut trees can be easily grown in Connecticut, and the nuts collected and sold. This talk discusses which cultivars do best here, how to grow them, and the problems encountered by chestnut growers with pests and pathogens. Marketing strategies and suggestions for contacts with other growers are also given. Sandra L. Anagnostakis, (203) 974-8498, Sandra.Anagnostakis@ct.gov

Chestnut Blight Disease in our Forests.
The chestnut blight fungus came into this country in the late 1800's on Japanese chestnuts, and reduced our native chestnuts to understory shrubs that sprout, become infected, die, and sprout again. I am working on a biological control for this disease, and breeding chestnuts for resistance. Sandra L. Anagnostakis, (203) 974-8498, Sandra.Anagnostakis@ct.gov

Chestnuts in the 21st Century. Chestnut breeding has been done at The Experiment Station since the 1930's, and the program is now focusing on producing timber and orchard trees with resistance to chestnut blight disease and chestnut gall wasp. Sandra L. Anagnostakis, (203) 974-8498, Sandra.Anagnostakis@ct.gov

Tree Diseases and Their Management. A wide variety of diseases can damage trees and reduce their aesthetic and economic values. This talk discusses common tree diseases including their symptoms, pathogens, development, and management. Yonghao Li, (203) 974-8565, Yonghao.Li@ct.gov  

Tree Diseases You Should Know About. This presentation will introduce the study and principles of plant pathology in the context of three historically important tree diseases: chestnut blight, beech bark disease, and Dutch elm disease. Robert Marra,(203) 974-8508, Robert.Marra@ct.gov


Tree Diseases New to New England (and worth knowing about). This presentation will discuss tree diseases that have the potential to threaten New England forests, both urban and natural. These include Phytophthora ramorum, the fungus-like “Sudden Oak Death” pathogen that has been ravaging forests of the western United States for over 20 years; Bretziella (formerly Ceratocystis) fagacearum, the oak-wilt fungus that has caused widespread loss of oaks in Texas, the Midwest, and southeast, and which has recently turned up in New York state; and Xylella fastidiosa, the xylem-limited bacterium responsible for bacterial leaf scorch on a variety of deciduous hosts, particularly oaks, from Texas to New Jersey. In each case, we will discuss the symptoms, the means of dispersal and spread, and, if applicable, the prognosis for treatment. If time permits, I will also touch on diseases that may not be new to New England, but which are increasing in severity, such as Caliciopsis canker, and “white pine needle disease complex.” Robert Marra, (203) 974-8508, Robert.Marra@ct.gov

Climate Change and Forest Health. The impact of climate change on forest health has two principle components. First, changes in weather patterns, which include longer periods of drought punctuated by heavier rain events, put trees under greater stress, leaving them more susceptible to pests and disease. Second, warmer average temperatures will increase the likelihood of the establishment of new pests and pathogens to which our native flora are currently naïve.  The synergistic effects of these two factors poses a critical threat to our forests and landscapes. Robert Marra, (203) 974-8508, Robert.Marra@ct.gov


Drought: Impact on Trees and Implications for Management. This presentation will begin with a discussion of changes in our regional weather patterns that have increased the intensity and duration of periods of drought. We will then discuss how drought impacts trees in both the short-term and long-term, focusing on how a tree’s physiology responds to drought, and how drought can increase the likelihood and severity of disease. We’ll conclude with a discussion about how best management practices can mitigate the effects of drought. Robert Marra, (203) 974-8508, Robert.Marra@ct.gov


Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, and SuperStorms:  Impacts and Influences on Tree Diseases. Using lessons learned from distant (1938) and more recent (Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy) weather events, this presentation will introduce tropical storms and how we define them, as well as the proximal and distal effects of storms that pose the greatest risks to trees, and how these effects can facilitate and exacerbate tree diseases. Robert Marra, (203) 974-8508, Robert.Marra@ct.gov


Bonsai Tree Disease Management. What’s wrong with my bonsai tree? How can I avoid this problem again in the future? Correct diagnosis is the first step to effective disease management. This presentation will discuss how to correctly diagnose bonsai tree diseases and develop effective strategies for their control. Yonghao Li, (203) 974-8565, Yonghao.Li@ct.gov  

Tree and Shrub Identification. The talk will cover identification of common Connecticut trees and shrubs. Learn how to use leaves, buds, and bark to identify species. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Every Tree has its Place – or – Planting the Right Tree in the Right Place. Trees provide the shade that cools our homes, a framework for our gardens, and the Connecticut sense of place. Learn how proper species selection can maximize the benefits and minimize the problems of street trees in our town forests and homes. The talk include tips for planting new trees and shrubs, general tree care, and how to spot potential problems on your property. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Roadside Forest Management – Tree-by-Tree. Each year, severe weather results in extended power outages and billions of dollars in property, infrastructure, and interior forest damage. Developing healthy, storm resistant forests requires adaptive management that integrates silvicultural and arboricultural practices from the forest edge to the interior that preserves aesthetic appeal and biodiversity. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Identificación de Árboles y Arbustos. La plática será una introducción a la identificación de árboles y arbustos que son comunes en Connecticut. Aprenderá como usar las hojas, yemas y la corteza para distinguir entre varias especies de plantas leñosas. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Poda de árboles y arbustos. La plática será una introducción de la ciencia y el arte de podar árboles y arbustos que son comunes en Connecticut. Aprenderá las razones para podar y las técnicas para logar sus objetivas. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Cómo sembrar árboles. La plática será una introducción de la ciencia y el arte de podar árboles y arbustos que son comunes en Connecticut. Aprenderá las razones para podar y las técnicas para logar sus objetivos. Jeffrey S. Ward, (203) 974-8495, Jeffrey.Ward@ct.gov

Turf, Lawns, and Grasses

Lawn Care. Large acreage’s of Connecticut are devoted to lawns. Knowing the proper methods for caring for lawns results in better grass. In many instances use of fertilizers and pesticides can be reduced. Proper fertilizing, weed control, disease prevention, mowing, watering and seeding techniques are discussed. Gregory J. Bugbee, (203) 974-8512, Gregory.Bugbee@ct.gov

Best Management Practice's for Your Healthy Lawn. To obtain optimum performance from your lawn, it is important to adopt the best management practices. Topics in this presentation include site preparation, seed mix selection, lawn establishment, mowing, fertilization, irrigation, and pest management. Yonghao Li,  (203) 974-8565, Yonghao.Li@ct.gov


Unusual Garden Vegetables. Growing globe artichokes, Belgian endive, radicchio, specialty melons, and Chinese vegetables. Abigail A. Maynard, (203) 974-8516, Abigail.Maynard@ct.gov

Improve Crops Yields Through Cultivar Selection. Yields of broccoli, cauliflower, onions, pumpkins, lettuce, and supersweet corn can be improved by proper cultivar selection and management techniques. Abigail A. Maynard, (203) 974-8490, Abigail.Maynard@ct.gov

Vegetable Diseases: This talk covers common disease problems of vegetables and their control for home gardening and commercial production. Yonghao Li, (203) 974-8565, Yonghao.Li@ct.gov 


Weed Control in Lakes and Ponds. Many ponds and lakes become unsightly and unusable because of buildups in weeds and algae. Alleviating these problems may involve reducing nutrients inputs, chemical ,or biological controls, harvesting, dredging, or other techniques. Gregory J. Bugbee, (203) 974-8512, Gregory.Bugbee@ct.gov


Introduction to Rocks and Minerals. A talk with examples about rocks and minerals for grammar school children. Charles R. Vossbrinck, (203) 974-8522, Charles.Vossbrinck@ct.gov


Microsporidia, Their Phylogeny, and Those Which Opportunistically Infect AIDS Patients.  About the single celled protozoa called Microsporidia, their biology, phylogeny and those which infect immuno-compromised persons due to the AIDS epidemic. Charles R. Vossbrinck, (203) 974-8522, Charles.Vossbrinck@ct.gov


Biological Illustration. A history of biological illustration and a presentation of modern illustration techniques. Gale E. Ridge, (203) 974-8478, Gale.Ridge@ct.gov


The Rice That Helped America Grow. A variety of rice named Carolina Gold was the first food product that America exported to Europe, and helped the coastal colonies achieve economic independence. Learn the legend of how this rice came to America, how West African ingenuity helped it thrive and become a local and international delicacy, and how it was almost lost forever before being revived by backyard enthusiasts in the past few years. Lindsay R. Triplett, (203) 974-8611, Lindsay.Triplett@ct.gov

Careers in Agricultural Science - They’re Not Just for Farmers (can be aimed at Jr HS thru early college students) Do you have STEM students who don’t want to choose between “making a difference” and making enough to support a family?  USA Today named Agriculture and Natural Resources one of the top 5 highest-earning degrees of 2015. This talk will discuss the different career paths in the agricultural sciences, the most sought-after skills and majors, and online resources for learning more. Lindsay R. Triplett, (203) 974-8611, Lindsay.Triplett@ct.gov

Nanoparticles and Their Potential in Agriculture. Any particle is smaller than 100 nm is defined as a nanoparticle (NP).  Dr. Elmer will discuss how NP of metallic oxides of Cu, Mn and Zn behave differently from their bulked or salt equivalent when sprayed onto plants. Wade H. Elmer, (203) 974-8503, Wade.Elmer@ct.gov

Toxicity of Engineered Nanomaterials. Engineered nanomaterials have unique physical and chemical properties because of their extremely small size. In many cases, this unique behavior is quite useful and as such, engineered nanomaterials have been incorporated into a range of commercially available products, including cosmetics, health care products, food processing and storage materials, agrichemicals, electronics, and sporting equipment. However, the environmental and public health implications of these materials is an area of active debate. This presentation will cover the basics of nanomaterials and nanotechnology, including a discussion of the positive and negative consequences of their use. Jason C. White, (203) 974-8440, Jason.White@ct.gov


Nanoscale Nutrients to Suppress Crop Disease. Crop pathogens cause up to 20% loss in agricultural productivity, with damages amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. Additional stresses on food production come from a changing climate and ever increasing population. As such, novel approaches to safely and sustainably control plant pathogens are needed and nanoscale agrichemicals, including micronutrients, offer great promise here. This presentation will cover current CAES research programs on using nanoscale nutrients to suppress plant disease, including work as part of the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology. Jason C. White, (203) 974-8440, Jason.White@ct.gov


Food Safety Research at CAES. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Department of Analytical Chemistry has a 123 year history of food safety work, including regulatory testing and research. This presentation will cover the highlights of those historical programs. Jason C. White, (203) 974-8440, Jason.White@ct.gov


CAES and the FDA Food Emergency Response Network (FERN). Post-September 2001, the federal government recognized that the US food supply was vulnerable to attack.  The response was to establish a network of laboratories around the country that would have similar equipment, methods, and expertise to respond to issues of national concern with the food supply. This network was established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and is called the Food Emergency Response Network or FERN. The CAES Department of Analytical Chemistry has been a funded member of the FDA FERN since 2005; this presentation will cover our contributions to national food safety, including work on melamine, the response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill, the evaluation of food for toxic heavy metals such as inorganic arsenic, and active surveillance for organic contaminants of concern. Jason C. White, (203) 974-8440, Jason.White@ct.gov