Early Career Scientist Spotlight | Jack Mascarenhas

jack mascatenhas

Jack Mascarenhas

As an undergraduate research assistant in the Quesada Vegetable Pathology Lab at NC State University, Jack Mascarennas assisted Research Specialist Mike Adams with cucurbit disease field trials conducted for the first CucCAP project.

What was the name of your institution and academic department?

North Carolina State University, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology

What type of degree program are you enrolled in?

Graduate Student – Masters candidate

What is the focus of your work? 

plant pathology

Introduce yourself—your background, where you are now, and your current research focus.

My name is Jack Mascarenhas. I am from Nashville, North Carolina. This past spring, I graduated from NC State with a Bachelor’s in Plant and Soil Sciences with an Agronomic Science concentration. During my time as an undergraduate student, I worked as a research assistant in NC State’s Vegetable Pathology lab, helping the lab’s field program. After graduating I have decided to continue my education and passion for research at NC State and in the Vegetable Pathology lab as a Master’s Student. I am currently researching the residue levels for fungicides used to control Black rot in Sweet potatoes.

Why did you choose to focus on plant pathology?

I was exposed to crop research at a young age, looking specifically at pesticide research in control of pathogens, insects, and weeds. My time as a research assistant has developed my interest in plant pathology, specifically fungicide control of various plant pathogens.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time working in the Quesada Lab, and what do you most look forward to in this position?

By the end of my time with the Quesada lab, I hope to have developed both lab and field expertise in various methods of pathogen analysis and control. I hope that I can develop a deeper appreciation for both sides of pathology research, and can effectively communicate methods and findings with colleagues as well as the general public.

Who is your major professor and who are members of your committee?

My major professor is Dr. Lina Quesada-Ocampo. Travis Gannon and Anders Huseth are on my committee.

Who are your mentors? Who helped guide you in previous positions so that you could be in this position today?

The two people who have guided me in the past so that I could be where I am today is my father who first exposed me to agriculture research and gave me early experience in field experiments, and Mike Adams who I worked under as an undergraduate and further helped me understand the steps taken into field trial establishment, maintenance, data collection, and analysis.

Please provide a brief description of your research.

My research is looking at the residue levels of various fungicides used to control disease in sweet potato. This research has two main steps: 1) assess the efficacy of several fungicide products in controlling the pathogen and 2) determine the residue levels left behind by the products to determine if they meet the maximum level regulations and see how frequently they can be applied to remain under the maximum levels. The same products will be used to test their abilities in controlling black rot and southern blight of sweetpotatoes..

What is your favorite pathogen?

My favorite pathogen to work with is Sclerotium rolfsii, which causes Southern Blight in a wide range of crops.

Do you have any social media handles that you want included?