Francisco Laranjeira is one of our ’40 Faces of Plant Pathology’
BSPP members can be found in 51 different countries, with 30% of members based in countries outside of the UK. As part of the BSPPs 40th anniversary, we asked our membership to describe some things about themselves, what plant pathology challenges they would most like to see solved, and what could improve the world of plant pathology in terms of inclusivity. Click here to return to the 40 Faces Home Page.
Institution and country of residence
Area of expertise/study
Thirty years ago, epidemiology fascinated me with its combination of biology and mathematics. Since then, I try and unravel the intricacies of each pathosystem I study based on epidemiological methods and principles. Most of what I’ve been done is related to fruits crops, specially diseases affecting citrus such as Citrus Variegated Chlorosis (Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca) and Huanglongbing (Candidatus Liberibacter spp). Recently I became more and more involved in bridging the gap between academic research and crop producers.
About your early experiences in education
Since 2010 I lecture Ecology of Plant Pathogens for graduate students in a federal university in Brazil. Before that my lectures were mostly about epidemiology and quantitative methods. Last year I started to migrate to online teaching and online hosting of plant pathology panels.
If you could solve one problem in plant pathology, what would it be?
Citrus Huanglongbing. It is the most important citrus disease in the world, a veritable pandemic. Despite many advances in recent years about its epidemiology, it is still needs more sustainable management solutions. Nowadays, its control requires as much as 40 insecticide spraying a year to control its vector.
If you could solve one issue relating to inclusivity and diversity within the field of plant pathology what would it be?
Gender inequality. I am not sure whether it is an issue for all BSPP members, but in developing countries it certainly is. Despite most of our graduates being women, that fact is not yet reflected in panel’s composition, societies’ boards nor R&D directorships.
If you weren’t a plant pathologist, what would you be?
I most certainly would be involved in some aspect of Science. I’m an amateur cave explorer and scuba diver, so I’d probably would be doing that professionally.