What is your hometown?
Utuado, Puerto Rico
What is the focus of your work?
plant pathology, integrated disease management, crop management, crop economics
Introduce yourself—your background, where you are now, and your current research focus.
My name is Yara, I was born in Puerto Rico. I grew up in a rural town named Utuado were the focus is agriculture. My dad worked for more than 30 years as a farm employee and he taught me the value and love for agricultural crops. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Agronomy and my Master’s degree in Crop Protection from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez Campus. My Master’s was focused on the foliar diseases of yam and their management. After I graduate, I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina were I started working as a Research Assistant in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. My main focus has been performing field, greenhouse and lab research experiments in order to evaluate different disease management strategies for important crops in North Carolina. For me, to be able to make the research results available to growers is one of the most important aspect of my position.
Why did you choose to work with Cucurbits, plant pathology, and crop production?
Diseases in cucurbits are one of the biggest factors in yield loss. Trying to find an alternative disease management strategy is really important for our growers and food production.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time working on the CucCAP grant, and what do you most look forward to in this position?
My goal is to continue working with researchers, growers and companies to manage cucurbit crop diseases.
Please provide a brief description of your research.
I performed experimental trials in the field, greenhouse and in the lab to evaluate different management options for different cucurbit diseases.
What is your favorite crop, pathogen, or plant disease?
My favorite cucurbit crop is watermelon and the disease that I found important is anthracnose.
Do you have any social media handles that you want included?