ISU Department of Horticulture Welcomes Dr. Suzanne Slack, Assistant Professor – Fruit Crops

Suzanne first became interested in both fruit research and Extension while working on a bachelor’s degree in Horticulture at the Pennsylvania State University. After graduation, she joined the lab of Dr. George Sundin to delve into the world of tree fruit diseases, culminating in a master’s degree in plant pathology. Her thesis topics involved dissemination of the bacteria that causes fire blight in apple and improving biological control options for fire blight management. In 2014 she joined Virginia Cooperate Extension as a commercial horticulture agent covering multiple counties in southwestern Virginia. Two years later she was back at Michigan State pursuing a PhD in plant pathology. However, this time her projects focused on environmental factors, population dynamics of pathogens, and host responses. After graduating Michigan State in December 2020, Suzanne had a short postdoc in North Carolina focusing on vine decline and dieback of grapes. Her plans for Iowa State involve answering grower questions by using a combination of field work and basic science. Besides extension and research, Suzanne is passionate about teaching. While at Michigan State, she was the lead instructor for an introductory plant pathology course and taught lab sections for senior level classes. At Iowa State, she plans to show students how to do everything fruit related: from planting design, growing season management, and harvesting to postharvest preservation.

Suzanne is very excited to join the faculty at Iowa State and is ready to start plans for the next field season!