We are studying the patterns of attack by a community of insect herbivores on plants; the work involves field biology, chemical ecology, genetics, and entomology. Our basic research involves milkweed plants, nearly 120 species from North America (and 20 from South America), which grow in various habitats and are attacked by a specialized community of insects. Some of the work is evolutionary in terms of quantifying phylogenetic patterns associated with the evolution of specialization (in insects parasites) and other work is more ecological, based on community interactions.
Use of biodegradable plastic mulch eliminated the need for in-row shallow cultivation, herbicides, and costly follow-up hand weeding labor in new strawberry and blueberry cooperator trials.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension-NYC (CUCE-NYC), in collaboration with Cornell’s Department of Natural Resources, is working with residents and community organizations to develop, implement and evaluate a 3-year social science research and education project that will result in development of an urban forestry community engagement model, toolkit and resources that will be used by organizations to reach and empower people to be active stewards of their community’s trees and natural resources.
A web-based, apple integrated pest management (IPM) decision support system was developed to facilitate pest management decisions. The system tracks seasonal development of insect pests using degree day (DD) developmental models. DD models and historical records are used to calculate tree phenological stage, pest stage, status and management advice. When a spray is recommended, a pesticide filter helps identify appropriate materials according to efficacy and type of management program. Predictions can be refined and adjusted by user-entered information obtained through field monitoring.
New York has great potential to expand the cultivation of sustainable, perennial crops for the production of woody biomass—for heat and bioenergy and as a feedstock for biofuels—on under-used agricultural land.
The objective of this project is to enhance public and academic understanding about a range of issues, including social inequality, poverty, insecurity, ecological degradation, new relations of social control, and social movements
Pathogenic organisms such as Escherichia coli and Cryptosporidium parvum continue to cause a threat to our food and water safety. Similarly, organisms such as Dengue virus and rotavirus are important clinical analytes related to human health, especially in the countries of the developing world. Organisms such as Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis are serious threat agents for our safety and security, since they can be used as bioweapon material.
The source of infection for strawberry powdery mildew was wrongly identified for decades. We found that minute structures called cleistothecia that were formerly thought to be non-functional were perpetuating the disease and causing epidemics. Finding this source of infection was the key to better control of the disease.
I am part of a four-member regional agricultural extension team called the Lake Ontario Fruit Program. We work with commercial tree fruit and berry growers and other industry personnel principally in Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, and Wayne counties. My area of programming is fruit quality management. I deal mainly with post-harvest and storage issues and have projects to extend shelf life, fruit quality, profitability, and sustainability.
We are developing a multi-pathogen detection system for the rapid identification of known and emerging pathogens of solanaceous crop plants (potato, tomato, pepper and eggplant).