by Brent Sipes
Dr. Wen Hsiung Ko of CTAHR’s Plant Pathology and the Beaumont Research Station has passed.
Dr. Ko was born in Taiwan in 1939. He completed a Bachelor Science degree at National Taiwan University in 1962 and proceeded to earn his Doctor of Philosophy from Michigan State University in 1966. After a post-doctoral period and Michigan State University, he started at the University of Hawaiʻi in 1969 as an Assistant Professor.
Dr. Ko worked on the Big Island at the Beaumont Research Center in Hilo. He moved through the faculty ranks reaching Professor. He was granted Emeritus status upon his retirement in 2005.
Dr. Ko relocated to the National Chung Hsing University of Science and Technology and spent the next 16 years continuing his research in plant pathology. He received the American Phytopathological Society Ruth Allen Award in 1984 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to hormonal regulation of sexual reproduction in Phytophthora.
In 1990, Dr. Ko was named a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. He was named as one of the Ninety Fabulous Faculty during the 90th anniversary of the founding of the University of Hawaiʻi in 1997. He is renowned among Hawaiian growers for his virgin soil technique for papaya planting, which remains in practice today.
Dr. Ko published numerous peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and symposium papers. During his career, he mentored many mycologists throughout the world.