Faculty Research Areas

This page includes a list of faculty advisors in Plant Pathology, a brief description of their research, and their location (Columbus or Wooster).  Click on faculty name to view their individual profiles.

Benitez Ponce, M. Soledad, Assistant Professor

Phytobacteriiology. Diversity and function of soil and plant-associated microorganisms and their contributions to plant growth. Integration of field, laboratory and computational analyses to explore how land management practices affect microbe-microbe and plant-microbe interactions in the soil-plant interface and their effects in plant health.  (Wooster)

Pierluigi (Enrico) Bonello, Professor

Molecular and Chemical Ecology of Trees.  Ecological role of tree diseases; chemical ecology of tree/fungal pathogen/insect interactions; systemic disease and insect resistance induced in trees by fungal pathogens; soil type and soil management regime effects on mycorrhizal community structure of trees in simulated urban environments; emerging pathogens and insect pests of trees (the Sudden Oak Death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum, and the emerald ash borer). (Columbus)

Anne E. Dorrance, Professor

Management systems for soybean diseases; evaluation of soybean populations/cultivars for resistance to Phytophthora sojae and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum; evaluation of seed treatments for Rhizoctonia solani and Phytophthora sojae; evaluation of fungicides for soybean rust management and impact on yield; cultural practices and impact on disease development.  Graduate Studies co-chair, Master in Plant Health Management (Wooster)

> Graduate Assistantship available (PhD applicant preferred) starting January 2019

Francesca Peduto Hand, Assistant Professor

Detection, characterization, and management of pathogens associated with ornamental crops (greenhouse, nursery/landscape) and turfgrass. (Columbus)

Ivey, Melanie L. Lewis, Assistant Professor

Fruit pathology, fresh produce safety, Extension outreach. (Wooster)

MS Graduate Assistantship Opportunity
We seek a motivated Master’s student to pursue an applied-research project that evaluates the impact of intelligent sprayer technology on the efficacy of pest management in apples and grapes.

More info > plantpath.osu.edu/our-people/melanie-l-lewis-ivey

Jacobs, Jonathan M., Assistant Professor

Discovery Theme position in Emerging infectious disease ecology, plant-microbe interactions, bacteriology, international agriculture (Columbus)

Laurence V. Madden, Interim Chair and Distinguished Professor in Plant Protection

Plant disease epidemiology, pathogen ecology, disease modeling and statistical analysis, and crop loss assessment; fungal diseases of fruit crops and other diseases, with the goals of determining the influence of climate and environment on disease dynamics, and developing disease management strategies based on epidemiological theory and experimentation. (Wooster)

Sally A. Miller, Professor

Sustainable, integrated management approaches for vegetable crop diseases; ecology and transmission of bacterial and phytoplasmal diseases. Bacterial pathogens of peppers and tomatoes; detection and characterization of aster yellows phytoplasma strains in lettuce; development of highly specific molecular markers for detection and quantitation of a microorganism inducing resistance to foliar pathogens.  International development and programming.  (Wooster)

Thomas K. Mitchell, Professor

Fungal biology and parasitism with an emphasis on using modern tools and techniques in molecular biology, genomics, and proteomics to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of virulence  Undergraduate coordinating advisor. (Columbus)

Terry L. Niblack, Senior Associate Dean, CFAES

Nematology: soybean cyst nematode biology and management; nematodes associated with maize; nematode communities in agroecosystems.  (Columbus)

Pierce A. Paul, Professor

Biology, epidemiology, and integrated management of corn and wheat diseases, including Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat, powdery mildew, and Stagonospora blotch of wheat. Also: disease forecasting system for FHB of wheat; characterization of the resistance of commonly-cultivated corn hybrids to northern corn leaf blight (NCLB); determination of the race structure of the NCLB pathogen in Ohio; and development of risk-based management decision-making tools for important foliar diseases of corn (gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight) and wheat (Stagonospora blotch and powdery mildew).  (Wooster)

Feng Qu,  Associate Professor

Molecular plant virology, plant antiviral defenses, including RNA silencing and resistance gene-mediated defense; interactions between different plant gene products (eg. DCLs, AGOs, and RDRs); and engineering virus resistance in crop plants by enhancing antiviral RNA silencing.  (Wooster)

Margaret G. (Peg) Redinbaugh, USDA ARS and Adjunct Professor

Dr. Redinbaugh is a Research Leader and Research Plant Molecular Geneticist at the USDA/ARS Corn and Soybean Research Unit in Wooster. Her primary research interest is identify and elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic and biological bases of virus resistance and tolerance in maize. Current approaches to understanding the molecular basis of virus resistance include projects to define the maize response to virus infection at the molecular level, to identify, map and isolate maize genes encoding virus resistance, and to characterize virus replication and distribution of viruses in resistant and susceptible maize germplasm.  (Wooster)

Jason C. Slot, Assistant Professor

Fungal adaptation to ecological roles at the genomic level. Comparative and functional genomics techniques are used in a broad range of fungal species to address research questions such as: How do fungi acquire new metabolic capabilities? How do fungi adapt to biochemical weapons produced by their plant hosts? What are the genomic features that indicate good fungi that are turning bad? (Columbus)

Lucy R. Stewart, USDA ARS and Adjunct Associate Professor

Dr. Stewart is a Research Molecular Biologist at the USDA/ARS Corn and Soybean Research Unit in Wooster.  Her research areas include plant virology; virus diseases of maize; virus insect transmission determinants and functional assessment of viral genomes.  (Wooster)

Christopher G. Taylor, Associate Professor

Molecular biology of root biotic interactions (nematodes, bacteria, fungi); nematology, biology of root parasitism and symbiosis, plant molecular biology, molecular microbiology  (Wooster)

Guo-Liang Wang, Acting Associate Chair and Professor

Molecular genetics and genomics of plant-microbe Interactions. Mechanism of plant-pathogen interactions and the signal transduction pathways leading to the induction of disease resistance responses; host defense mechansisms.  Both genetic and genomic approaches are used with rice as the model system. Also: novel genomics tools and resources for functional analysis of the rice and maize genomes.   (Columbus)

PhD Opportunity

Ph.D. graduate research assistantship: The research program of this position focuses on molecular plant-fungal interactions and signal transduction of immune responses in plants. Successful applicant will integrate various approaches in genetics, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology and metabolomics. The research will aim to unravel the molecular events in the rice-pathogen interactions and determine the host targets that are important in immune responses.

Qualifications: The candidate must have completed a B.S. or M.S. in the biological sciences before enrollment. Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English are required. Experience in plant-microbe interaction and host resistance and evidence of excellent accomplishment in conducting scientific research will be desired. Ability to work in a team and also independently is expected.

Initial Inquiries can be sent to Dr. Guo-Liang Wang at wang.620@osu.edu. Please send (1) a CV detailing your past work and research experiences, publications, GPA, breakdown of GRE scores, and/or TOEFL or IELTS score (English proficiency for interational students), (2) a cover letter (one page) explaining why you are interested in doing research in plant pathology (3) a contact list of three referees. For more information about Wang lab, please visit the lab website: wanglab.cfaes.ohio-state.edu


Ye Xia, Assistant Professor

My research interests are mainly focused on the biochemical, genetic, and molecular mechanisms as well as application of plant disease resistance and beneficial plant-microbe/microbiome interactions to improve plant health and yield for sustainable agriculture.