Dr. William Powell, director of the Council on Biotechnology in Forestry and SUNY-ESF and the co-director of the New York State American Chestnut Research and Restoration Program, spoke at the TEDxDeExtinction Conference earlier this year.

Powell is an expert on the molecular mechanisms of hypovirulence in the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica. . m. One of his significant accomplishments is the enhancement of blight resistance in American chestnut by his research team and collaborators.