WSU vegetable seed scientist honored

September 30, 2018 GMT

Washington State University plant pathologist Lindsey du Toit has received an award that provides further funding for her crop seed research.

Du Toit works with vegetable seed growers in western and central Washington to reduce the impact of pathogens that impede seed crop production, according to a university news release.

She works out of the Washington State University Northwest Research and Extension Center in Mount Vernon.

Some of du Toit’s recent research could save local spinach seed growers thousands of dollars per acre in damaged crops each year.

The Alfred Christianson Distinguished Professorship in Vegetable Seed Science, awarded to du Toit last month, provides up to $20,000 a year that she can apply to crop seed research, she said in an email.


“It’s an indication that, if we do do good work, then not just the university but also stakeholders believe in you,” du Toit said in the release. “That’s why we work hard to fulfill the land grant mission of WSU, to know that our research benefits the people we serve.”

The funding from the endowment can be used for expenses such as equipment repairs, unexpected equipment needs, filling gaps in graduate student or technician grant-funded support, covering scientific journal publication costs or funding for professional development.

“It’s very encouraging to have this support for my program, and reflects the amazing team with whom I have the privilege of working ,” she said.

Du Toit has been working on vegetable seed research at the university for 18 years.

“Some of the projects we’ve tackled have taken years to solve,” she said. “The patience shown by growers has paid off. We’ve had some great results in the 18 years I’ve been in this position at WSU.”