Afona Irabor

Position title: PhD Student - Plant Pathology


I am from Benin City, Edo State in Southern Nigeria. I received a Bachelor of Agriculture degree in Crop Science from the University of Benin, Benin City. My interest in plant pathology started when I took a crop protection class in the third year of my undergraduate studies. In my final year, I conducted a research project focused on evaluating the fungicidal properties of crude extracts of Ocimum gratissimum L. against pathogens associated with eggplant (Solanum melongena L.). The knowledge and research experience gained during my undergraduate studies made me appreciate the need for more effective, sustainable and environmentally sound disease management strategies, and fueled my desire to pursue graduate studies and research in plant pathology.

I proceeded to earn a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Science with a concentration in Plant Science from Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee. My master’s thesis research was focused on the biological control of Phytophthora blight of bell pepper and southern blight of tomato using selected bacterial endophytes.

I am thrilled to start my Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin, and I look forward to being a part of the city of Madison. At UW-Madison, I hope to deepen my knowledge of the biology of plant pathogens, ecology and epidemiology of plant diseases, molecular plant-microbe interactions, plant disease resistance, and plant disease management, while enhancing my research, leadership and professional skills.

I enjoy reading, working out, watching movies and listening to music.