Microbial Ecology and Epidemiology

Petri dish (Matt Bertone - NCSU)

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. Oliver Baars – Analysis and biological chemistry of exudates in plant-microbe interactions. Nutrient controls on plant microbiome activity.
  • 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. Shuijin Hu – Microbial community structure and functioning; soil microbial diversity and pathogen/disease suppression; soil microbes and global change
  • 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. David Rasmussen – Phylogenetic and populations genetic methods for tracking the spread of plant and animal viruses. Evolutionary genetics of plant virus host ranges and pathogen emergence.
  • 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