Rachel Richardson

Rachel Richardson

  • Ph.D. Student
  • Co-advised by: Dr. Kevin Hockett and Dr. Carolee Bull
111 Buckhout Lab
315 Buckhout Lab

University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Bacteriology
  • Biological Control


  • B.S. in Biology, Minor in Chemistry, California State University Channel Islands

Research Interests

Bacterial blotch is a common disease found in mushroom houses across the US, especially here in Pennsylvania. Blotch disease refers to a group of diseases that results in the formation of spots, discoloration, and sunken lesions on the mushroom cap.  A variety of Pseudomonas species have been identified as being the main causal agents of bacterial blotch, but the spectrum of pathogens causing this disease is still being explored.  

My research aims to identify the non-Pseudomonas species pathogens contributing to bacterial blotch in commercial mushroom houses in Pennsylvania and California. With greater insight on all key organisms involved in this disease, I hope to enhance current management practices targeting bacterial blotch in mushroom houses across the country. 

Grants & Awards

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Grant. July 2021

Gaspari Memorial Graduate Scholarship. June 2021


High Throughput Isolation of Mushroom Pathogens Using the Prospector System™. Penn State Mushroom Short Course, October 2021. 

Using the Prospector System™ for high-throughput isolation and identification of mushroom blotch pathogens. International Society for Mushroom Science eMeeting 2021.