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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


OARDC Scientist Wins International Plant Pathology Award

September 9, 2008

Editor: A high-resolution photograph of Madden can be downloaded a

WOOSTER, Ohio — Larry Madden, a professor of plant pathology at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, has been awarded the 2008 Jakob Eriksson Prize for his numerous contributions in plant-disease epidemiology.

Awarded only once every five years, the prize is given to individuals in recognition of outstanding scientific work and engagement in plant pathology, as well as support of plant-disease research worldwide. Madden received the award in August during the 9th International Congress of Plant Pathology held in Torino, Italy.

“It is an unbelievable honor to receive this award, given that it is only presented to one person in the world every five years,” Madden said. “I couldn't have done it if I didn't work with great colleagues at OSU and in other states and countries, and work in a department that has always been supportive of my research efforts. Receiving the gold medal in the beautiful city of Torino in front of plant pathologists from around the world was a very special moment.”

A Pennsylvania native who joined OARDC in 1980, Madden has pioneered the use of many modeling approaches to analyze, compare and understand the spatial and temporal components of plant-disease epidemics. He has used his research results to predict the risk of disease outbreaks and the rates of disease spread. Also, for more than 20 years, Madden has conducted groundbreaking research on rain-splash dispersal of plant pathogens. His findings have directly affected individuals around the world who work to quantify and understand plant epidemics.

Madden’s research has been extremely productive, with 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and two books on epidemiology. He has given scientific lectures throughout the United States and in many other countries.

“Everyone associated with the department is extremely proud of Larry and all he has accomplished, and we all believe he is most deserving of this very prestigious award,” said Mike Boehm, chair of the Department of Plant Pathology. “We have a really strong and dynamic department, and Larry’s Jakob Eriksson Prize adds to the long list of awards and recognitions received by our students, staff and faculty.”

In addition to research, Madden has contributed to the professional development of the plant pathology field, serving as president of the American Phytopathological Society (APS), which is the largest professional organization of plant pathologists in the world. He has received many honors, including the Ruth Allen Award from APS, the Distinguished Scholar Award from Ohio State, and the E.C. Stakman Award from the University of Minnesota. He is an elected Fellow of APS and other scientific societies.

The Jakob Eriksson Prize was established in 1923 at Wageningen, Netherlands, to encourage creative study of plant pathogens and the processes of disease development in plants. Eriksson was a plant pathologist who specialized in fungal taxonomy and parasitism of plant pathogenic fungi. He also was a fervent internationalist who promoted cooperation between plant pathologists. His writings and ideas were instrumental in the formation of the International Society for Plant Pathology in 1968.

For more information about Ohio State’s Department of Plant Pathology, log on to

OARDC ( is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


Mauricio Espinoza
Mike Boehm