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Predicting the Next Plant Disease Pandemic

April 5 | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT

As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, adoption of new technologies and mitigation interventions to stop pandemics is not just a technical problem; solutions must be understood, embraced, and adopted by society. Prediction of plant disease pandemics is unreliable due to the lack of real-time detection, surveillance, and data analytics to inform decision-making and prevent spread. Faculty at NC State funded from the NSF “Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention (PIPP)” program are developing a pandemic prediction system called the “Plant Aid Database (PAdb)” that links pathogen detection by in-situ plant disease sensors and remote sensing of crop health, genomic surveillance, real-time spatial and temporal data analytics and climate data to predictive simulations of plant disease pandemics.

We will hold a symposium on April 5 with talks given by a global panel of speakers, followed by a smaller invitation only workshop on April 6 to discuss new tools for pandemic prediction and the social and political implications of implementing them for monitoring and managing plant disease pandemics. The symposium will be held in the Plant Sciences Building on Centennial Campus in Raleigh, NC.