Caitilyn Allen, Alfred Hartemink appointed Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professors

Plant pathology professor Caitilyn Allen and soil science professor Alfred Hartemink have been appointed Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professors and Douglas D. Sorenson Professors.

The five-year professorships come with a total of $75,000 in flexible funds, including $50,000 from the university’s Vilas Trust and $25,000 provided by CALS, specifically from a UW Foundation account established by Douglas and Juanita Sorenson. The funds can be used for books, research travel, supplies or similar expenses incurred in pursuit of scholarly activity. After the professorships end, Allen and Hartemink can keep the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor title for the duration of their UW-Madison careers.

Caitilyn Allen, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, studies the interactions between the plant pathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum and its many plant hosts; specifically, to identify traits that R. solanacearum needs to cause wilt disease in the unique nutrient-poor and microaerobic environment of the plant xylem. Allen served as the department chair of plant pathology from 2011 to 2014.

Alfred Hartemink, professor and chair of the Department of Soil Science, researches digital soil morphometrics, digital soil mapping and soil carbon. He currently serves as editor-in-chief of Geoderma Regional and the World Soils Book Series. Earlier this year, he co-authored The Soils of Wisconsin.