This year’s NOVA PhD course in Plant Pathology “Biotrophic and Hemibiotrophic plant pathogens and their host plant interactions” was held at “sunny” Kobæk Strand in Denmark. It was co-ordinated by Prof. David Collinge, University of Copenhagen, and colleagues. Professor Dave Berger of the MPPI research group presented three topics for the class of 20 PhD students from Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. One of these students from Norway was originally from South Africa. Dave covered three hot topics: (i) Is the Zig-Zag model of plant immunity still useful?; (ii) Cross-kingdom RNAi and dsRNA-based disease control; and (iii) Artificial Intelligence for foliar disease diagnosis.  Highlights of the stimulating week were the student poster sessions and an evening of debate about controversial topics in food security, such as “Will all farming be done by robots in future?”.  We also heard about exciting research by the visiting Faculty, such as (i) Prof. Armin Djamei’s molecular research on corn smut disease at the University of Bonn; (ii) the threat of Phytophthora to the major strawberry industry in Norway from Prof. May Bente Brurberg, (iii) the oomycete-pea pathosystem by Prof. Magnus Karlsson from SLU, and (iv) the biological control agent Clonostachys that uses small RNAs in its armoury (Dr Mukesh Dubey from SLU).