Dept Chairperson Assoc
Roberts Hall, Room BOX15
U Cal Davis
U Cal Davis
U Cal Davis
I lead Cornell`s grape pathology program, with responsibilities for research, extension, and undergraduate instruction on topics pertaining to disease biology and management for this crop. While necessarily focusing on issues of importance to New York stakeholders, the program maintains a regional, national, and international perspective through its involvement with colleagues throughout the U.S., Australia, South America, South Africa, Europe, and Japan. This is done via cooperative research projects, presentations at producer and technical meetings, and personnel exchanges.
My research focuses on the applied biology and integrated management of the common fungal diseases of grapevines, with two primary emphases. The first is to better understand how climate, grapevine physiology, and viticultural practices impact the development of specific diseases of import, with the objective of improving disease management programs while minimizing the reliance on chemical intervention. The second is based upon a belief that chemical inputs can be minimized not only through efforts to identify complementary and alternative tools, but also by applying science to better understand the fungicidal tools themselves, which are likely to remain a significant factor in commercial grape production into the foreseeable future. This focus has emphasized identification of the physical modes of action of specific fungicide groups, and both the population and molecular biology of resistance to two major classes of modern products.
My extension activities focus primarily on educational programs provided to key audiences (grape growers, winery owners, private- and public-sector advisors) concerning the identification, biology, and management of infectious diseases of grapes (primarily fungal in origin). Educational activities include oral presentations at grower meetings and field days; the production of numerous and varied written materials, delivered in both "hard " and electronic formats; and on-farm visits to diagnose problems and propose solutions. There is a heavy emphasis on the synthesis and delivery of new research-based information, emanating from both my own research program and those of colleagues within and without our Department. Although concentrated on the needs of the New York grape, wine, and juice industries, the extension program is consciously designed to address regional industry needs as well, befitting Cornell`s position as the leading institution for viticulture/enology research and education in the eastern United States.
My classroom instruction relates to grapevine disease management, with the objective of training students who will either be managing vineyards themselves, advising those who do, or continuing on to graduate school for training in one of the sciences that supports this application. As such, the focus is on providing both (i) the theoretical background necessary to make informed decisions and understand common practices; and (ii) specific examples of various management tactics currently in use.