Ana Cristina Fulladolsa Palma
Ana Cristina is a scientist with a passion for agriculture and a committed advocate of science education. She is originally from Guatemala and it was among its majestic volcanoes and resilient people that she discovered her passion for the application of science for the improvement of crop production worldwide. Her interest in plant pathology arose from an undergraduate research assistantship in which she contributed to the development of new tomato varieties with resistance to bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens for Central American markets. This experience allowed her to see the impact of well-developed collaborative research on the lives of farmers facing agricultural problems and triggered her desire to pursue a doctoral degree in Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin. There, she studied an economically important disease of the potato, the most widely produced vegetable crop in the world. She developed and evaluated tools for improving Potato virus Y management in seed potato production. Her research reinforced her interest in developing disease management strategies that can have a direct impact on crop production and are in tune with the conditions, needs, and values of farmers.
As a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University, Ana Cristina currently focuses on detection, epidemiology, and management of necrotic viruses of potato. Through her research, she seeks to aid potato farmers in understanding viral diseases in their crop and improve the tools they use to manage them. Throughout her academic journey, Ana Cristina has also been involved in diverse science outreach projects, including the co-foundation of the plant pathology outreach program What’s Eating My Plants? She believes science education is cornerstone for the advancement of society, and she strives to serve the global community through both her research, effective science communication and community engagement.