Dr. Pamela Ronald to Discuss Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food at Berea College Science Lecture

Dr. Pamela RonaldDr. Pamela Ronald will be the featured speaker at the Berea College Science Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel. Ronald’s presentation will explain how integrated approaches are needed to enhance sustainable agriculture. The lecture is co-sponsored with the Agriculture & Natural Resources Department.

Ronald, a plant pathologist and geneticist, specializes in cell and developmental biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genomics. Her Ph.D. is from the University of California, Berkeley. Ronald has received many accolades from her research and ground-breaking discoveries, including the Honorary Scientist at the National Institute of Ag Biotechnology, Korea; John Simon Guggenheim Fellow; 2008 USDA National Research Initiative Discovery Award; and the 2012 Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair Award.

Currently a notable professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at UC Davis, Ronald and her collaborators engineered rice that is able to resist diseases and withstand floods. This new discovery can be used to solve the problems associated with floods within less-developed countries. Although her research is controversial because of the use of genetic engineering, Ronald advocates the benefits of genetic engineering in solving serious problems.

Convocation events, provided free to both the campus and public communities, are a significant part of a student’s educational experience at Berea College. Visit the Convocations site for the full schedule of all events this academic year.


Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.