Abby Beissinger
Assistant Extension Educator
(2019 - present) 

University of Connecticut
1380 Storrs Road, Unit 4115
Storrs, Connecticut 06269

Office: Ratcliffe Hicks Room 008
Phone: (860) 486-6740
Fax: (860) 486-6280

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MS in Plant Pathology, Washington State University, 2016

BS in Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011


Plant Diagnostics Guest Lecturer for SPSS 3810: Fundamentals of Plant Pathology

Plant Pathology and Plant Diagnostics for UConn's State Wide Master Gardener Certification Course

Work Experience

2019 - Present
Assistant Extension Educator & Plant Pathologist, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.

2017 - 2019
Visiting Assistant Extension Educator & Conservation Ambassador Program Coordinator, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT.
2014 - 2016
Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, Mount Vernon, WA.
2011 - 2013
Service Learning Coordinator & AmeriCorps Volunteer, Groundwork Lawrence & TerraCorps, Lawrence, MA.
2010 - 2011
Research Coordinator & Agriculture Consultant, EDGE Project, Lingira Island, Uganda & Madison, WI.

Extension Program

My extension program involves running UConn's Plant Diagnostic Laboratory, a full service clinic that provides plant and insect diagnostic services for plant health issues throughout Connecticut and the Northeast. Clients include organic and conventional farmers, greenhouse and nurseries, landscapers, home gardeners, agricultural and natural resource non-profits, and more. As a member of UConn's IPM Team, I provide technical and diagnostic support to the fruit, nursery, greenhouse, entomology, and vegetable IPM programs. Additional responsibilities include collaboration with UConn's Home & Garden Education Center and Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory; presentations and workshops at locak, regional and national meetings; extension writing activities in newspapers and blogs; development of youth plant pathology outreach programs; and active participation in the Northeast Plant Diagnostic Network.

Research Interests

Sociology of agriculture and food systems; impact of grower decisions on development and spread of plant pathogens; impact of climate change on severity of plant diseases; alternative inoculum sources of plant pathogens; seed and commercial potato operations; Potyviruses

Selected Publications

Inglis, D.A., Gundersen, B., Beissinger, A., Benedict, C.A., and Karasev, A.V. 2019. Potato virus Y in seed potatoes sold at garden stores in western Washington: Prevalence and strain composition. American Journal of Potato Research. Doi: 10.1007/s12230-018-09695-3

Beissinger, A., Benedict, C., and Inglis, D. 2018. Alternative sources of Potato virus Y in western Washington. Washington State University Extension Technical Bulletin: TB49E, 26 p.

Beissinger, A. and Inglis, D. A. 2018. Greenhouse comparison of two detection methods for Potato virus Y N-Wi at four potato growth stages. Plant Health Progress 19:71-75.

Beissinger, A., J.R. Goldberger, C.A. Benedict, and D.A. Inglis. 2018. Seed potatoes, virus management, and the non-adoption of an agricultural innovation. Rural Sociology 83(3): 598-629. 

Inglis, D.A., Benedict, C., Gundersen, B., Beissinger, A., and McMoran, D. 2018. Proactive approaches for controlling recombinant Potato virus Y Strains in Western Washington. Washington State University Extension Fact Sheet: FS313E, 14 p.

Beissinger, A. 2016. Proactive approaches to managing Potato virus Y in Western Washington. Master’s thesis, Washington State University.