Emil M. Mrak International Award 2013: Jose Carmine Dianese, M.S. ’68, Ph.D. ’71

Jose Carmine Dianese

In 1970, Jose Carmine Dianese became the first Brazilian to earn a Ph.D. in plant pathology from UC Davis. He’s a professor emeritus at the University of Brasilia, in his hometown. 

Dianese made significant contributions in the study of fungal biodiversity of the endangered Brazilian cerrado, the tropical savanna region that makes up 21 percent of the country’s land. Thanks to his research, there are more than 100 new fungal species identified in the area. His specialized expertise leads to frequent speaking invitations. He continued to advance UC Davis’ impact by acquiring funds to hire three Ph.D. plant pathologists from UC Davis to his program in Brazil. 

In a career spanning more than 40 years, he directly trained 37 plant pathologists, 15 of whom went on to become university professors in Brazil, and one in Chile. The coursework he established graduated nearly 300 plant pathologists. Three of his students continued graduate work in plant pathology at UC Davis; two of them returned to Brazil, and one works in Germany.