Professor & Head
306 Life Sciences, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone: (225) 578-1464
Fax: (225) 763-5573
University of Illinois - Plant Pathology; Ph.D., 1985
V. P. I. & S. U. - Plant Pathology; M.S., 1981
University of Georgia - Horticulture and Plant Pathology; B.S., 1976
Administration: My responsibility is to provide leadership for the development of excellence in research, extension, and teaching in the Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology. In addition, I provide leadership in facilitating the professional development of faculty, staff and students; in the development of courses and curricula, in managing the department’s physical and financial resources, and in administering state, regional, national, and international programs of the department.
Research: My previous responsibility was for understanding the epidemiology, etiology and control of fungal plant pathogens that cause soil-borne and foliar diseases of ornamentals, rice, turf and vegetables. I researched a novel nutritional approach to managing these plant diseases which involved the study of the role of silicon for suppressing plant diseases. My interests have included understanding the interactions of silicon with fungicides, residual effects of silicon on disease development, the influence of silicon in the enhancement of host plant resistance and the mechanism (s) of silicon-mediated resistance. The plant pathogens I have studied in this system include Magnaporthe grisea (rice and turf), Thanatephorus cucumeris (rice and turf), Cochliobolus miyabeanus (rice and turf). I also investigated its effectiveness against diseases of ornamentals (powdery mildew/roses and gerbera daisies), bedding plants (tigergrass/Exserohilum turcicum), and other vegetable/agronomic crops (downy mildew/cucumbers and rust/soybeans). Research also focused on defining and characterizing the role of silicon in plant disease suppression and to determine what genes and gene products might be involved in this process. In addition, I investigated the molecular, morphological and pathogenic characterization of the species Corynespora cassiicola, the cause of target spot of tomato; factors involved in pathogenesis and molecular characterization of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycoperisici; the etiology and control of pepper anthracnose, and the pathogenicity, morphological and molecular characterization of isolates of Rhizoctonia sp. from turf, and screening genotypes of St. Augustinegrass for resistance.
Teaching: I taught Fundamentals of Plant Pathology/General Plant Pathology. The objective of the lecture section of the course was to introduce the student to the many different types of plant pathogens, their basic biology, examples of the types of disease they cause, and the basic principles and concepts of their development, spread and management. The laboratory section emphasized the principles and concepts of plant pathology through demonstrations and hands-on exercises using living organisms and prepared specimens. Graduate and DPM students were required to write a paper and prepare a 20 minute oral power point presentation on plant disease control, i. e. biological, cultural or chemical. I also supervised the research of eight Ph.D’s, five MS, three Doctor of Plant Medicine students and have hosted five research scholars from Brazil and Great Britain while at Florida. I have continued to serve on graduate student committees at LSU.