Forest pathology; the genomics host-parasite interactions in natural ecosystems; impacts of biotic disturbance on forest structure and function; molecular mechanisms of innate immunity in plants; tree and pathogen genomics; Populus spp.; Sphaerulina musiva.
Research at the OSU forest pathology lab is focused on understanding the interaction between fungal pathogens and forest trees. Broadly, we study the relationship between genes in the host and pathogen and how they impact virulence and pathogenicity. The over arching goal of this research is to understand how these interactions can be scaled to elucidate landscape level patterns of biotic disturbance. Specifically, we are using the Populus – Sphaerulina pathosystem to study host parasite interactions at the genomic level in order to develop a mechanistic understanding of this system. A variety of computational and molecular tools are used to achieve this goal.