Tucuman, Argentina | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2009
Two of his countless successes
illustrate L. Daniel Ploper’s nearly
30-year passion for plant pathology:
post-epidemic eradications of soybean
stem canker and frogeye leaf spot.
Ploper directs the Estación
Agroindustrial Obispo Colombres in
Tucumán, Argentina, the country’s oldest
agricultural research station, founded in
1909. With a staff of about 350,
including 72 researchers at five
locations, EEAOC’s challenge is to
improve agricultural production through
research and extension activities.
He began his EEAOC work as a plant
pathologist after earning his undergraduate
degree. With eight years’ field experience,
he came to Purdue on a Fulbright
Scholarship. He earned his master’s and
doctoral degrees and then returned to
EEAOC as a principal investigator,
becoming head of the plant pathology
section in 1996 and director in 2004.
At the research station, his current
focus is on integrating different tactics to
control field crop diseases in soybeans,
common beans, sugarcane, and citrus—
lemons are one of Argentina’s largest
crops—with special emphasis on
developing disease-resistant cultivars.
In 1994, Ploper added to his EEAOC
workload by beginning to teach at the
National University of Tucumán, where he
is now an associate professor and
frequently guides graduate students. He
has also taught graduate courses at
National University of Buenos Aires and
National University of Catamarca.
Since 1997, he has been an
independent researcher at the National
Research Council of Argentina. In 2003,
he co-founded the National Program on
Soybean Rust created by the Argentina
Department of Agriculture and other
groups. He frequently presents at
international scientific and technical
meetings, has published extensively, and
has received numerous awards.
His work doesn’t allow much time for
hobbies, but he enjoys photography, tennis,
reading, and time with his family, which
includes two sons and two daughters.
“Purdue was the jumping board that propelled
my professional career. As a Purdue alumnus,
I knew I was expected to make a difference, and
results show I was prepared for that challenge.”