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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Shane M. Allan

Shane Allan Shane m. allan

Department of Plant Pathology 
Plant Pathology
Grove City, OH 

2023 Distinguished Senior Award Recognition Reception Program (.pdf) 

2023 Distinguished Senior Award Recipient Reception Poster (.pdf) 

When Shane Allan transferred to OSU after receiving his associate’s degree from Columbus State Community College, he enrolled as a microbiology major to explore his fascinations with fungi and trees. After taking a few classes in plant pathology, he decided to change  majors, finding the discipline came closer to capturing his passion. Within the department, he was able to focus his interests in Dr. Enrico Bonello’s lab, exploring the world of forest pathology while gaining valuable field experience. He participated in studies of induced resistance in the Austrian Pine, collecting and processing tissue samples for DNA extraction and aiding in greenhouse studies of pine phenolics. The research he contributed to reveals important information on the survival of pines in a warming climate. 

In the Bonello lab, Shane also contributed to a study of the novel beech leaf disease—an emerging and serious threat to beech trees—by collecting spectroscopy data to help develop a new method for identifying disease-resistant specimens. Shane recalled these field experiences fondly, saying, “When I got the opportunity to get paid to run around the forest to work on a new disease spreading across Ohio, all while OSU pays for my travel, I didn’t hesitate.” Despite the mosquitos, Shane found spending time in nature while working toward the study’s meaningful goal an unforgettable and rewarding experience. 

Shane’s greatest contributions to research came from his time in Dr. Jason Slot’s lab, where he was a pivotal contributor to studies of disease-causing fungi in insects. Shane managed large-scale insect infection experiments and helped develop protocols for the capture of 
ambrosia beetles and isolation of their symbiotic fungi. Reflecting on his time in Dr. Slot’s lab, Shane took his greatest sense of accomplishment from his work with a medicinal Cordyceps fungus. In the project, Shane grew corn from seeds to act as a food source for 
a population of fall armyworm caterpillars. After hatching the caterpillars and overseeing their daily care, Shane facilitated their infection with the Cordyceps fungus, bringing the fungus to the fruiting stage to study the conditions most conducive to controlling the pests. The data collected will contribute to the evolving understanding of fungal medicinal compounds. Shane expressed pride in his work and is excited to see what future insights the data might yield. 

As his mentor, Shane chose to recognize Dr. Carrie Fearer, formerly of Dr. Bonello’s lab in the CFAES Plant Pathology Department. Shane shares, “Much more than just showing how to perform tasks in the lab, she demonstrated a drive for research that inspired me to want to pursue research. There was never a day she didn’t accomplish something, and she always knew what she needed to do next. I try to copy her work ethic, and I attribute to it much of my success in and out of school.”

After graduating, Shane will work at CFAES’s Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic in Wooster, OH as a research technician, with eventual plans to pursue graduate studies in a field related to forest health. A first-generation college student, Shane has made an impact on faculty and fellow researchers for his initiative, interest in the scientific process, and strong desire to tackle real-world problems through research.

Shane Allan - Press Release