Principal Investigator

Dr. Francesca Peduto Hand, Associate Professor

Where I am from: Florence, Italy
PhD, Plant Pathology, University of Florence, Italy
MS, Agricultural Science and Technology, University of Florence, Italy
About myself: I am committed to quality graduate and undergraduate education and to supporting green industry stakeholders in producing healthy plants using sustainable practices. I am passionate about agriculture and women leadership in STEM.

Twitter: @PrettyPlantsDoc



Graduate students

Isabel Emanuel, PhD student (2018-present)

Where I am from: Baltimore, MD
Education: B.S., Microbiology, University of Maryland, College Park
My research: My research aims to develop integrated disease management strategies for an emerging disease affecting ornamental holly.
Something about myself: In my free time, I enjoy attending group fitness classes and participating in intramural sports.




Daniela Gutierrez Yanez, PhD student (2021-present)

Where I am from: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Education: B.S., Agricultural Sciences and Production, Escuela Agricola Panamericana Zamorano, Honduras
My research: My research focuses on identifying soilborne pathogens of cut flowers and the potential use of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) for disease management.
Something about myself: I’m a black belt in Taekwondo, I love science and in my free time I enjoy reading and learning new things.



Undergraduate students

Aleacia Laird (2021-present)

Where I am from: Springfield, OH
Education: Global Impact STEM Academy High School, 2019
About myself: I am a 3rd year student at Ohio State majoring in Plant Pathology with a minor in Horticulture. I enjoy being a CFAES ambassador and working with prospective students and my ambassador team. I am passionate about OSU Extension and have spent the past two summers working with Master Gardener Volunteers in Clark County Ohio. In my free time I enjoy gardening, going to coffee shops, and spending intentional time with my family and friends.


Former members

Coralie Farinas
PhD student (2015-2020)
Current position: Plant Pathologist, Ball Helix
Cristian Olmos
MS student (2019-2020)
Shan Lin
PhD student (2014-2018)
Current position: Applied Research Supervisor, Driscoll’s Inc.
Dana Martin
MS student (2015-2017)












Caterina Villari
Postdoc (2016-2017)
Current position: Assistant Professor, University of Georgia
Veena Devi Ganeshan
Postdoc (2017-2018)
Current position: Research Associate, ABRC, OSU