Frank Louws

 
 
 
Professor and Extension Specialist

2411 Gardner Hall Campus Box 7616 Raleigh, NC 27695-7616 Tel: (919) 515-6689 FAX: (919) 515-7716

Research: 

Our program is rooted within core values associated with a sustainable agriculture framework and is service-oriented, consistent with the mandate of a Land Grant University, with emphasis on strawberries, tomatoes, peppers and organic crops. Our disciplinary strengths are in bacteriology, soilborne pathogens, plant disease management, microbial ecology and farming systems research. A key strength of the program is the ability to understand real-world problems within a production agricultural framework and by asking strategic questions that advance the sciences of plant pathology, horticulture and systems research in organic and conventional production systems. Addressing relevant production agriculture questions combined with fundamental biological questions provides a mechanism to write competitive proposals. Our work is supported primarily through competitive grants. Grower associations contribute 1.6%, grants-in-aid and other commodity related support generates 4.4% and competitive grants generate 93.9% of our total program funds (total of $6,972,335.00 or ~ $500,000.00/yr R2 =0.98).  This proportion of funding also ensures we seek the public good in our work. Obtaining extramural funding enables us to hire key personnel (undergrads, graduate students, postdocs; consultants) and/or manage projects to generate new scientific knowledge and then translate this knowledge into Extension programming to deliver solutions to primary clientele. Much of the experience and work also informs the teaching component of our program – providing a high level of relevancy to our students.  Team members typically are exposed to applied field research, advanced molecular tools and have many opportunities to interact with scientists and farmers. 

  • M.Sc., Plant Pathology, 1987. University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont, Canada NIG 2WI.
  • B.Sc., Horticulture (With Distinction), 1984. University of Guelph (1982-1984); Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA (1980-1982).
Extension & Outreach: 

PRIMARY COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM:
Specific components of our program with associated Missions and funds to date (07-2009) include:
a) Microbial ecology:

Mission: To assess the population structure and dynamics of targeted soil microbial communities and their impact on disease incidence or beneficial plant health effects within the context of an ecologically-based agriculture.  PI & CO-PI: $276,599.
b) Farming Systems Research and Extension:

Mission: To implement diverse farming systems and generate discovery knowledge of polyphasic impacts/indicators (biological, physical, economical) and generate practical information to enhance sustainable viability of NC farms. PI & CO-PI: $1,822,809.00.
c) Training Programs:

Mission: To train agents and other stakeholders (trainers) with applied information to manage diseases and enhance plant health/production consistent with a sustainable agriculture; PI & CO-PI: $359,259.00.
d) Strawberry Disease Management:

Mission: To develop fundamental knowledge and implement applied recommendations to enable commercial growers to successfully manage diseases of strawberry;  PI & CO-PI: $409,675.
e) Methyl Bromide Alternatives Research and Extension:

Mission: To conduct discovery and applied research (biologically based knowledge) and to implement applied recommendations to enable commercial strawberry and vegetable growers to successfully transition from methyl bromide to alternative fumigants or alternative farming systems; PI & CO-PI: $2,570,916.
f) Tomato Disease Management:

Mission: To develop fundamental knowledge and implement applied recommendations to enable commercial growers to successfully manage diseases of tomato with emphasis on bacterial diseases, TSWV, and Grafting/soilborne disease management); PI & CO-PI: $1,318,140.
e) Pepper Disease Management:

Mission: To develop disease management tactics and implement applied recommendations to enable commercial growers to successfully manage diseases of pepper with emphasis on Phytophthora and TSWV; PI & CO-PI: $58,188.
f) Other:

Mission: To address critical extension issues faced by our clientele to offset economic hardship or prioritized challenges; PI & CO-PI: $156,749.00.