Dr. Patricia Faasse, Rathenau Institute, lecture “Johanna Westerdijk – Pioneer in plant Pathology”. Patricia surprised the audience, consisting of staff, students and alumni of the Department of Biology and the Faculty of Science of UU, with a Westerdijk Quiz! All were asked to stand up and answer multiple choice questions about Johanna Westerdijk. If you gave the wrong answer you had to sit down. At the end 3 were still standing. What a fun way to celebrate the life of Johanna Westerdijk! Soon a family tree of 271(!) descendants of the Academic Heritage of Johanna Westerdijk will be presented by Patricia!

Dr. Saskia van Wees, University of Utrecht, Biology Department, lecture “What a difference a century makes for plant pathology research”. Saskia gave a great talk about plant microbe interactions. And she revealed that in 1990 she took part in the Phytopathology course of the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (now the Westerdijk Institute) in Baarn, in villa Madoera!

Prof. Pedro Crous, Westerdijk Institute, Key lecture “Biodiversity and impact of Phytopathogenic fungi”. Pedro took us on an exciting trip through the centuries, by showing the impact of fungi on society then and now. From the witches of Salem to Dutch Elm Disease and Ash dieback. There’s no such thing as durable resistance: pathogens are moving - Fungi now travel around the globe.

All 3 speakers were presented with a (resistant!) Elm tree.

The Biology Department can certainly look back on a well-organized and exciting event!