Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, originally from Asia, is an invasive fruit fly that became established in NY and surrounding states in autumn of 2011. Unlike other fruit flies that typically only infest overripe and rotten fruit, female SWD oviposit in ripe fruit, thereby making them unmarketable. Economic loss projections for NY fruit are estimated at $5M. Soft-skinned fruits are at greatest risk.
This project is to study the archaeological work that has been undertaken in American cemeteries and what has been learned by 40 years of research.
Late blight (LB), early blight (EB) and Septoria leaf spot (SLS) are the three foliar fungal tomato diseases in temperate regions, with yearly weather conditions determining which of these diseases are most problematic that year. Currently, conventional and organic growers rely on preventative fungicides for control, with sprays typically starting in mid-July and continuing on a weekly basis. However, following release of lines from breeders at Cornell and North Carolina, seed companies are starting to trial and sell hybrid tomato varieties with tolerance to EB and/or resistance to LB.
Invasive plants change plant communities and ecosystem function across North America. My work assesses how changes in plant communities and management of invasive plants using biological control affects a wide range of native biota.
My research projects have focused on odor-mediated interactions between flowering plants and insect pollinators across the spectrum of specialized-to-generalized pollination systems (yuccas, night-blooming tobaccos, thistles). This program is largely exploratory and nonapplied; technological limits and historical bias have resulted in historical neglect of the basic importance of floral scent to pollinator attraction and avoidance of natural enemies.
The goal of my research program is to identify and evaluate multiple strategies than can be integrated to control weeds in vegetable and fruit crops. The strategies may be traditional (chemical, mechanical) or more unusual (cover crops, natural products, weed biology/ecology, crop rotations). The intention is to develop methods of ensuring continued production of healthy foods while maintaining economic sustainability for growers and the safety of the food supply and environment.
Late blight and early blight result in severe loss of tomato production when environment is favorable to the pathogens and development of either of these diseases. Cornell plant breeders have freshmarket tomato lines with genetic resistance to late blight and strong genetic tolerance to early blight.
Hybrids of native and European grapes are widely planted in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. However, so-called "hybrid" aromas typical of these crosses often compromise the flavor quality of wines from these grapes. Preventing these unpleasant aromas is difficult due to a lack of understanding of optimal growing conditions for these species and the hands-off approach many hybrid grape growers take.
The grape powdery mildew fungus has long been thought to be native to the eastern U.S. This idea is based on historical reports of grape powdery mildew in the U.S. earlier than elsewhere and that the grape species native to the U.S. are more resistant to mildew than those in Europe or Asia.
By the end of the century, climate change projections under business-as-usual emissions scenarios suggest a warming of 3 – 5 degrees C accompanied by an increased occurrence of very dry and very wet periods in North America. If these forecasts are realized, agricultural systems are likely to experience an increased vulnerability to invasive weed species.