Sudden Oak Death and Phytophthora ramorum.

Sudden Oak Death and Phytophthora ramorum.


The goal of this project is to map and understand the effect of the pathogen Phytophthora ramorum in causing sudden oak death.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Research in our lab is focused on the ecology and management of exotic and native forest tree diseases, primarily in California ecosystems. In California, millions of trees have died due to P. ramorum infection since the introduction of this pathogen in the mid-1990s. Our study sites span the range of P. ramorum infestation in California, from Big Sur to the Oregon border, and include long-term monitoring plots that encompass a diversity of forest types, including: redwood-tanoak, Douglas-fir-tanoak, coast live oak, and mixed oak woodlands. Across this range, we are studying the ecology of the pathogen and monitoring the establishment, spread and ecological impacts of SOD. We take a multiscale approach, with projects ranging from experimental studies of basic organism biology to landscape-scale field surveys.

Methods and Technologies

  • Plant Pathology protocols
  • Molecular biology proptocols
  • Gene expression and editing
  • Entomology protocols to characterize pathogens

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Plant pathology
  • Entamology
  • Epidimeology
  • Ecology
  • Molecular Biology

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Students interested in the impact of pathogens on plants and willing to do field work. Basic knolwdge of plant science and entamology and molecular biology lab techniques would be an asset.

Team Advisors