You are here: Home > Travel reports > Evaluating water sampling techniques in the USA

Evaluating water sampling techniques in the USA

During February and March 2011, Rebecca Zappia was given the opportunity to travel to the United States of America. This visit provided Rebecca with the chance to meet and further collaborate with researchers from the University of Florida, Clemson University and Cornell University, whom she had been communicating with since the start of her PhD.

The first visit was with researchers at the University of Florida, where she discussed research on water treatment technologies, which are being employed in the nursery and greenhouse industry across the USA. In particular, the research associated with the Water Education Alliance for Horticulture, which is a university and industry partnership led by Associate Professor Paul Fisher, from the Department of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida.

During Rebecca's visit she spent time with Associate Professor Paul Fisher and several of the PhD students who are doing research in this field. The time at the University of Florida was valuable on two levels: firstly, learning how researchers successfully engage with industry and how they disseminated information to assist growers. Secondly, understanding the various technologies in place for treatment of irrigation water and how the effectiveness of these technologies is being assessed.

From sunny Gainesville, Florida, Rebecca made her way to Clemson University in South Carolina. The focus of her visit to Clemson University was to discuss the Department of Entomology, Soils & Plant Sciences research on sampling waterways for known plant pathogens.

During this visit, time was spent with Professor Steve Jeffers and several of his researchers and masters students. Rebecca found the time at Clemson University valuable: firstly, as it enabled her to assess how they were monitoring the waterways for plant pathogens, and secondly the opportunity it gave to discuss and view in detail, the techniques being employed by the group for the detection of plant pathogens in water.

From balmy Clemson, South Carolina, Rebecca made her way to snow covered Geneva, New York, to visit researchers at Cornell University. At Cornell University Rebecca primarily met with fellow PhD student Lisa Jones, who is researching the presence of plant pathogens in irrigation water in New York State. Lisa’s work is very much aligned to the work Rebecca is undertaking as part of her PhD in the Ord River Irrigation Area. The time spent with Lisa enabled them to discuss their projects in detail and exchange ideas.

Overall the visit to the USA gave Rebecca an enhanced understanding of monitoring plant pathogens in waterways - both irrigation and natural. It was also extremely beneficial in building stronger linkages with those researchers overseas, which will certainly benefit Rebecca through the remainder of her PhD and into her career.

Clemson University: (left to right) Dr. Jae-Soon Hwang; Prof. Steve Jeffers; Rebecca Zappia; Inga Meadows; Elizabeth Nyberg; and Simon Schreier.


When: February 2011
Rebecca Zappia travelled to the USA to meet with researchers from the University of Florida, Clemson University and Cornell University to further develop collaboration in relation to water sampling techniques.