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Websites and Resources
My program includes basic and applied research on the etiology and management of diseases of vegetable crops, the characterization of plant pathogens, and food safety. Efforts are focused on:
- Sustainable/integrated disease management in organic and conventional systems
- Etiology of emerging diseases
- Molecular characterization of pathogens relevant to vegetable agroecosystems
- Detection technologies for pathogens and beneficial microorganisms
- Role of plant disease management in food safety and interactions of plant and zoonotic pathogens
- Diagnostic Field Plant Pathology (PLNTPTH 5685), offered every other Summer as a 10-day course (Summer 2013).
- Fruit and Vegetable Diseases (PLNTPTH 5150) (co-taught with Mike Ellis); offered every other Spring semester
- Guest lectures in Plant Disease Management (PLNTPTH 5603)
- Pest and Disease Diagnostics for International Trade and Food Security: An International Short Course
- Advising of PhD and MS students
- Advising of undergraduate interns
- Disease management for vegetable crops for Ohio clientele including county educators and state personnel, growers and private sector crop protection professionals
- Development of media (videos, slide sets, fact sheets, web page content; popular press material), teaching (presentations), participation in grower-oriented meetings and workshops, farm visits, and sample diagnosis
International development work is an essential part of my research and outreach program. I am an active participant in the IPM Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) since 1994, beginning as the principal plant pathologist, then chair of the Philippines site from 1998 until 2006.
I also lead pathology efforts in IPM CRSP programs in Bangladesh (since 2000) and Nepal, India and East Africa (since 2006), and cooperate with the IPM CRSP in West Africa. These efforts focus on developing, with local scientists, solutions to serious diseases that limit the yield, quality and income generation potential of vegetable crops.
Through my participation in projects in several regions, I have been able to identify commonalities in disease problems and work to transfer technologies among countries. Since 2006, I have directed the International Plant Diagnostic Network, which links 15 developing countries in East and West Africa, Asia and Central America and builds capacity for disease and pest diagnostics through training and technology development and application.
I provide advice on vegetable disease diagnostics and management worldwide, and have had projects or consultancies in Egypt, Ukraine, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal and Turkey. I have trained nine graduate students, two postdoctoral associates, and many visiting scholars and scientists from developing countries in my laboratory. I also mentored four African university pathologists under a USDA Foreign Agriculture Service Faculty Exchange Program.
I am a northern Ohio native and completed my BS in Biology at The Ohio State University. I became interested in plant science through my Senior Honors project under the guidance of Dr. W. R. Sharp, which involved the effects of asbestos contamination on plant growth and development. I then accepted a graduate assistantship with Dr. Douglas P. Maxwell in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There I studied the interaction of Phytophthora medicaginis with alfalfa using cytological and biochemical methods. I received my M.S. degree in 1979 and Ph.D. degree in 1982. During my graduate studies I developed a deep appreciation of the genus Phytophthora, and have continued to work with this genus of plant pathogens in some capacity throughout my career. In 1982 I joined DNA Plant Technology Corporation, a plant biotechnology firm in southern New Jersey. Less than two years later I become part of a "spin-off" called Agri-Diagnostics Associates, where we developed monoclonal antibody-based diagnostic kits for detection of plant pathogens, including species of Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, Sclerotinia, Septoria and Mycosphaerella. In 1991 I joined the faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology at OSU, focusing on research and extension in vegetable crop diseases.