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The Mundt lab studies epidemiology, pathogen population biology, and the genetics and durability of host plant resistance to disease.
A major, current project uses wheat stripe rust as a model for studying invasive plant, animal, and human pathogens that spread via long-distance dispersal. Questions being addressed include issues of spatial scaling, effects of landscape heterogeneity, and influence of initial epidemic conditions on disease spread. This project involves large-scale field experiments and a variety of computational approaches.
A second major project is in collaboration with cereal breeding colleagues. This project seeks to use quantitative analyses to elucidate genetics of resistance to several diseases of complex inheritance, and to develop molecular breeding strategies for cereal diseases of importance in the Pacific Northwest.
Lab website: https://bpp.oregonstate.edu/people/mundt-chris
Students can choose one of two tracks. One track would involve the use of a computer simulation model to study factors that influence the spread of disease in space and time, and how disease control practices might limit this spread. A second track would involve genetic analysis of field data collected from molecular mapping populations exposed to plant diseases.
Students will learn fundamental concepts in plant disease epidemiology or genetics of host plant resistance to disease. They will gain experience in using simulation models or in quantitative genetic analysis.