I manage the lab and field research for the Mueller lab. We focus on the diseases of soybeans including how management practices influence the severity of root and foliar diseases. I guide the undergraduate and graduate students on their research projects and also do studies with researchers from other universities.
I am also continuing my work with the sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) fungal complex of apples. My research focuses on characterizing the taxonomy, exploring its worldwide distribution and investigating the ecology and ancestry of these fungi. I have had the opportunity to discover and describe dozens of previously unknown fungi that live on the surface of apples as well as explore how these fungal epiphytes respond to climate, cultural practices and surrounding landscape. I am also involved in the development of a relative humidity based warning system to reduce the number of sprays apple growers need to control SBFS.
Ph.D., Plant Pathology: August 2005 Iowa State University, Ames, IA, Dissertation: “Sooty blotch and flyspeck on apple: Expansion of the fungal complex, post-harvest removal, and heterogeneity of apple canopy wetness and its impact on the outcome of a disease-warning system."
M.S., Plant Pathology: May 1998 University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, Thesis: "Effects of the tall fescue endophyte on seed germination and resistance to pre-emergent damping-off."