Emeritus Professor, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology
My goals are to ameliorate the harmful effects of plant disease through both research and teaching. I have taught Introductory Plant Pathology to undergraduates in a relatively applied course, and to beginning graduate students in a more theoretical course. Additionally I have taught plant disease epidemiology to graduate students. My extension teaching has primarily involved the management of potato late blight and was stimulated by an urgent need during the 1990s to deal with a crisis caused by the presence of exotic strains of Phytophthora infestans (the pathogen causing potato late blight) throughout the United States. The exotic strains had characteristics that we had not previously seen, and growers needed information about how to respond. My research has investigated the basic biology and management of potato late blight and its pathogen, Phytophthora infestans. Initial activities emphasized disease management and epidemiology, to be followed by population genetics studies, genetics and now host pathogen interactions using genomics approaches. My laboratory is vertically organized going from very applied studies in the field to very theoretical ones in the laboratory.
318 Plant Science Building
Ithaca, NY 14853
wef1 [at] cornell.edu