I am gay and I am a plant pathologist. //
I’m a plant geek focused on feeding a hungry world and protecting the planet. My research aims to understand how plants recognize pathogens at a molecular (DNA) level, to identify genetic resistance to diseases in wild relatives to crop plants, and to provide genetic alternatives to chemical inputs for management of diseases in crop plants. My work includes study of diseases and genome sequences of potato, tomato, apple, and rose. With a changing global climate and growing world population, plant pathology research is a “must” for sustainable and durable solutions to food security challenges. As a professor and department head at the University of Minnesota, I’m an advocate for diversity in higher education, a passionate teacher, and an engaged science communicator.