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Marilen Nampijja

M.S., Plant Science B.S., Conservation Forestry and Production Technology
Marilen Nampijja
Ph.D. Student 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Marilen Nampijja is a PhD student in the Vegetable Seed Pathology program. Marilen was born and raised in Masaka, Uganda in East Africa, where she received her primary and secondary education. She was admitted to Makerere University in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, in 2010 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation Forestry and Production Technology. In 2015, after completing her BS degree, Marilen worked with Hall Hunter Partnership, the leading soft fruit grower in the United Kingdom, after which she returned to Uganda to start passion fruit farming. Having worked in the UK and on her passion fruit farm, Marilen realized that plant diseases are among the most challenging aspects to manage in crops, and recognized the need for a better understanding of plant diseases so that she could help other farmers when she returns to her home country. In 2017, Marilen enrolled in an MS degree in Plant Science at South Dakota State University, with an emphasis in Plant Pathology.  Her MS research project evaluated the efficacy of synthetic and biopesticides on bacterial leaf streak of wheat, and examined the influence of cultivar and environment on epiphytic bacterial diversity on wheat seeds. After completing her MS degree in 2019, Marilen was offered a job at North Dakota State University at the Williston Research & Extension Center as laboratory technician. Her major area of research was on soilborne pathogens: Aphanomyces euteiches and Fusarium species affecting field peas, evaluating the impacts of seed treatments on commercial rhizobia inoculants, and evaluation of the relative nodulation of chickpea using different rhizobial isolates that are native to western North Dakota. Marilen started a PhD degree at Washington State University in spring 2020, based at the WSU Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center, under the supervision of Dr. Lindsey du Toit. Her dissertation project is on management of bacterial leaf spot in table beet and Swiss chard, caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata. This is part of a larger USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Research Initiative project on Pseudomonas syringae pathogens of Cucurbitaceae and Chenopodiaceae (Award No. 2019-51181-30019), on which Lindsey du Toit and Lydia Tymon are co-Principal Investigators.