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Research

Our research interests are focused on applications of decision theory and how they apply for grower decisions related to the economic use of different disease management tactics like fungicides and resistance, global crop loss assessment and modeling, food security and insecurity, as well as the integration of different statistical methods for the agricultural sciences. We are interested in decision-making under uncertainty, using both data rich and data poor situations to understand the interactions that occur between pathogen-host-environment-human. We also collaborate with many different colleagues and focus on multidisciplinary research.

Pennsylvania's agricultural landscape is diverse, but economically important to the economy of the state. Field crops like corn, soybean, wheat, barley and oats are grown on approximately 2.5 million acres (1.01 million hectares), with a combined value of well over $1 billion. Pennsylvania producers deal with quite variable growing conditions, from soil type to production region, including farms with long, deep valleys. The variable microclimate effect, while challenging, also provides opportunities for research that can directly impact grower decision-making. Our lab is interested in improving the profitability and sustainability of PA's agricultural sector through research that is innovative, but also that address the needs of our producers. We apply mixed technologies and methodologies to address those concerns.

Our general areas of research interest include:

  1. Modeling the local, regional and national impact of soybean diseases in the United States
  2. Understanding grower decision-making for corn disease management based on survey methodologies
  3. Modeling the risk, impact and management of different plant pathogens on corn, soybean wheat
  4. Sustainability, food security and insecurity