Microbial Ecology and Epidemiology

Research in the department on Microbial Ecology focuses on biotic and abiotic mechanisms of suppression of pathogens in soils, biodiversity of plant associated fungi, nematodes, bacteria and viruses, and population structure and dynamics of plant-pathogens and other plant-associated microbes. Epidemiological research focuses on disease forecasting in multiple pathosystems, spatial and temporary epidemiology, dynamics of fungicide resistance, host resistance, and impacts of resistance on pathogen populations.

  • Dr. D. Michael Benson – Mechanisms of biological control and suppressive soils, population dynamics and genetic diversity of Phytophthora and Rhizoctonia
  • Dr. David McK. Bird – Tritrophic interactions between nematodes, plants and rhizobia/arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi; gene flow in the soil ecosystem
  • Dr. Ignazio Carbone – Population structure and evolution of fungi; development of analytical and molecular tools
  • Mr. William O. Cline — Population structure and race development in blueberry pathogens; mechanisms of post-harvest dispersal, contamination and infection in harvested fruit.
  • Dr. Christina Cowger – Epidemiological impacts of host resistance; spatial and temporal epidemiology; population structure and biology of cereal diseases
  • Dr. Marc Cubeta – Ecology and population dynamics of Sclerotinia and Rhizoctonia
  • Dr. Larry F. Grand – Biodiversity of fungi in natural and disturbed ecosystems; biodiversity and biogeography of wood decay fungi
  • Dr. Shuijin Hu – Microbial community structure and functioning; soil microbial diversity and pathogen/disease suppression; soil microbes and global change
  • Dr. Stephen R. Koenning – Population structure and dynamics of parasitic and free living nematodes; farming system impacts on nematode communities; developing, deploying, and managing host-plant resistance to plant parasitic nematodes
  • Dr. Frank Louws – Farming system impacts on soil microbial communities; population structure and dynamics of Xanthomonads/plant associated bacteria; cultural, fungicide, and host effects on epidemiology of strawberry diseases and bacterial diseases of tomato
  • Dr. Gary A Payne – Host resistance to mycotoxigenic fungi, epidemiology of mycotoxigenic fungi
  • Dr. Zvezdana Pesic-VanEsbroeck – Distribution and spread of viruses in vegetable and small fruit crops
  • Dr. Jean Beagle Ristaino – Farming system impacts on soil microbial communities; diversity and population dynamics of Phytophthora; spatial epidemiology; statistical methods
  • Dr. David F. Ritchie – Host resistance deployment and population structure/dynamics of Xanthomonads/plant associated bacteria; pathogen population shifts and development of bacterial disease epidemics
  • Dr. Barbara B. Shew – Populations dynamics and structure of Sclerotinia minor; spatial and temporal epidemiology; disease forecasting; statistical methods
  • Dr. H. David Shew – Impacts of acid soil chemistry and soil physical properties on population dynamics and structure; host genetics and impact on shifts in pathogen populations; impacts of soil properties and host resistance on epidemics of soilborne pathogens