​September 15–16 eSymposia

Pathogen-Host Coevolution — Combating Resistance Breaking in Agriculture

This symposium will be held September 15 -16, 2021, hosted by Melania Figueroa (Canberra, Australia) and Daniel Croll (Neuchatel, Switzerland). This event will explore the mechanisms by which pathogens evolve novel virulence activities and question why some pathogens need numerous effectors while others need only a few. It will also address effectiveness of resistance traits in the field though under high pathogen pressure.

September 15–16 eSymposia Chairs:


Melania Figuerora

Dr. Melania Figueroa

CSIRO Agriculture & Food, Canberra, Australia

Dr. Melania Figueroa received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Costa Rica and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Arizona. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University before joining the USDA-ARS in the Forage Seed and Cereal Research Unit. Next, she was appointed as a tenure-track Assistant and then Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota. Figueroa is currently a Group Leader in the Agriculture and Food Business Unit at The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Canberra, Australia. In this role, she manages a portfolio that comprises research on cereal rust diseases and legume pests to provide genetic solutions to agronomic problems at a global scale. Research advances in genomics research led by Figueroa have elucidated novel mechanisms of virulence evolution in rust fungi. She is currently leading efforts for genomic comparisons of global rust fungal populations and is interested in dissecting mechanisms underpinning genetic diversity. Figueroa’s goal is to identify pathogen effectors and markers to use as virulence predictors and develop a framework to understand pathogen susceptibility in cereals.





Daniel Croll

Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, University of Neuchatel, Neuchâtel,Switzerland

Daniel Croll joined the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, in 2017 where he leads the Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics as an Assistant Professor. Daniel Croll received his MSc in Biology in 2003 and his PhD in Life Sciences in 2009 from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. He then joined the ETH Zürich as a postdoctoral fellow. Later, he received an Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation to work 2013-2014 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. In 2015, Daniel Croll was appointed as an Oberassistant (group leader) and lecturer at the ETH Zürich. At the University of Neuchâtel, Daniel Croll continues to investigate the evolutionary dynamics of disease emergence in agricultural ecosystems. The main interests include the dissection of phenotypic traits using genome-wide association mapping, the mechanisms of rapid genome evolution and the signatures of recent adaptive evolution.

Daniel Croll

​​​​​