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2024 Plants, Insects and Microbes Symposium

May 17 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


The Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Auburn University is hosting the inaugural Plants, Insects and Microbes Symposium. The symposium will feature renowned keynote speakers, faculty and student research talks, poster sessions and networking events. The participants will have the opportunity to gain thoughtful insights from leading industry experts and academic scholars. The goal of this symposium is to showcase the diverse areas in plant sciences, microbiology, plant pathology, and entomology that researchers across Alabama are working on and to provide supportive, diverse and intimate environment for researchers at all career stages to connect. There will be networking opportunities to connect with industry and extension. 

This event is FREE for all attendees.

If you have exciting data to share, consider presenting an oral presentation or a poster presentation here. Submit your abstracts by April 2, 2024 to get the spot on the schedule. Best student talks and posters will receive awards. 

MAP TO VENUE (Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex)

Please contact Neha Potnis (nzp0024@auburn.edu) with any questions.

AGENDA (subject to change)

Please view the full agenda here.

Morning Sessions

7:45-8:10 am: Collect your registration badge, set up your presentation/posters and grab yourself a cup of coffee

8:10-8:15 am: Welcome remarks by Dr. David Held

8:15-9:00 am: KEYNOTE: Dr. Carolee Bull, Professor of Bacterial Systematics and Plant Pathology, Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, Penn State – Mushroom Microbiome

9:00-10:00 am: Session I Graduate Student Presentations

10:00-10:20 am: Break

10:20-11:30 am: Session II Student Presentations

11:30-12:45 pm Lunch at The Edge Dining Hall

Afternoon Sessions

1:00-1:45 pm: KEYNOTE: Dr. Ken Narva , Research Fellow and Head of Insecticides at GreenLight Biosciences  – Development and Commercialization of RNA-Based Biopesticides

1:45-3:10 pm: Posters with coffee/tea (ACLC 202 and 208)

3:15- 3:45 pm: Session III Oral Presentations 10 minutes each

3:45-4:45 pm: Session IV Oral Presentations

4:45-5:15 pm: Award Ceremony


Auburn-Agriculture-ENPP-Symposium-Carolee-Bull-HeadshotCarolee T. Bull is a Professor of Plant Pathology and Systematic Bacteriology and former Head (2015-2022) in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State University and was the Inaugural Director of the Penn State Microbiome Center (2016-2022). Professor Bull is also an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Bull’s research focuses on translational taxonomy to manage bacterial diseases of plants and mushrooms.

Bull served as the convener of the Committee on the Taxonomy of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria for the International Society of Plant Pathology (2006-2022) and continues to serve as a member. She also serves on the Judicial Committee of the International Committee on the Systematics of Prokaryotes. Bull received the USDA Secretary’s Honor Award, highest award for service to the US in Agriculture, for her mentorship of underrepresented students in agricultural science in 2013, the 2022 Inaugural Penn State Microbiome Center Commonwealth Award, and the USDA-NIFA Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) National Extension Diversity Award for Penn State Extension’s Latinx Agricultural Network, for which Bull provided foundational leadership.

Bull is a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in 2020 and is serving as Vice President (2023-2024), and will serve as President Elect (2024-2025), and President (2025-2026) for the society.

Auburn-Agriculture-ENPP-Symposium-Ken-Narva-HeadshotKen Narva is a leader in the field of Agricultural Biotechnology Research and Development with a passion for innovation aimed at ecologically sound solutions for sustainable food production. Ken is currently a Research Fellow and Head of Insecticides at GreenLight Biosciences where he leads the Discovery phase strategy for RNA-based insect control products. Ken joined GreenLight Biosciences in 2019.

Prior to Greenlight, Ken held leadership roles in Discovery functions at Dow AgroSciences (now Corteva Agriscience) where he delivered globally marketed insect control and agronomic traits for corn, cotton and soybeans. Prior to Dow AgroSciences, Ken was a Discovery Scientist at Mycogen Corporation in San Diego, CA., where he discovered biopesticides for insect control. Before Mycogen, Ken held post-doctoral research positions in small molecule natural products discovery at American Cyanamid in Pearl River, NY, and in plant pathology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ken is an inventor on over 130 granted U.S patents and an author of over 60 peer reviewed publications. Ken earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Louisiana State University and a B.S. in Biology from Central Michigan University.



May 17
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex
347 Duncan Dr
Auburn, Alabama


Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology
(334) 844-2524