Our lab is a world leader in the study of the ecology, evolutionary biology, diversity, and management of fungi in the sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) complex. These fungi cause economic losses for growers in many countries by blemishing the epicuticle of apple fruit.
Our research on cucurbit bacterial wilt is branching into many exciting areas. When we began investigating this pathosystem in 2000, we tried several semiochemical strategies to lure cucumber beetles away from production fields. Next we evaluated using spunbond polypropylene row covers as a barrier against cucumber beetles until anthesis (the start of flowering). In 2007-2009, we suppressed bacterial wilt by delaying the removal of row covers until 10 days after anthesis (Saalau Rojas et al., 2011).
A goal of my program is to help growers acquire the weather data they need to operate disease-warning systems reliably and conveniently.