Sharifa Crandall

Sharifa Crandall

  • Assistant Professor of Soilborne Disease Dynamics and Management
217 Buckhout Laboratory (Office)
306 Buckhout Laboratory (Lab)

University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Fungal ecology and evolution
  • Soil & plant microbiome response to stress
  • Biological management of fungal & oomycete pathogens
  • Soil health and disease modeling


  • BA - University of California, Berkeley
  • MFS - Yale University
  • PhD - University of California, Santa Cruz

Dr. Crandall is an Assistant Professor in the Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology Department and runs the Soilborne Disease Ecology Lab at Penn State. Broadly, the lab researches how soilborne pathogens drive plant disease dynamics across time and space. Her current research emphasizes the analysis of spatio-temporal relationships in fungal phenotypes, diversity and function. She uses microbiome related tools to analyze soil fungi that can serve as diagnostic indicators of plant stress for specialty crops (e.g., potato, grape). She is also interested in researching the phylogenetic distribution of important soilborne microbial functional traits (e.g., reproduction, decomposition, transfer of nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon, stress tolerance) both heavily managed (agriculture) and more natural ecosystems (forests). Dr. Crandall also develops fungal metagenomic approaches for pathogen detection and distribution mapping. Moreover, she is dedicated to mentoring and teaching students from diverse backgrounds. Prior to her position at Penn State, Dr. Crandall worked as a science educator at Harvard University at the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership and has conducted pathology research and outreach as a postdoctoral researcher at Cal State Monterey Bay and the USDA - Agricultural Research Service in Salinas, California.


Pakistan Journal of Botany, Ali, Muhammad Usman, Rajput, Nasir Ahmed, Atiq, Muhammad, Atif, Rana Muhammad, Crandall, Sharifa G., 2024

Assessing long-distance atmospheric transport of soilborne plant pathogens
Environmental Research Letters, Brodsky, Hannah, Calderón, Rocío, Hamilton, Douglas S., Li, Longlei, Miles, Andrew, Pavlick, Ryan, Gold, Kaitlin M., Crandall, Sharifa G., Mahowald, Natalie, 2023

An Interactive, Online Web Map Resource of Global Fusarium oxysporum ff. spp. Diversity and Distribution
Plant Disease, Calderón, Rocío, Eller, Jaclyn A., Brodsky, Hannah K., Miles, Andrew D., Crandall, Sharifa G., Mahowald, Natalie, Pavlick, Ryan, Gold, Kaitlin M., 2023

Recovery of the soil fungal microbiome after steam disinfection to manage the plant pathogen Fusarium solani
Frontiers in Plant Science, Larson, Eric R., Crandall, Sharifa G., 2023

Extreme heat alters the performance of hosts and pathogen
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, Porras, Mitzy F., Navas, Carlos A., Agudelo-Cantero, Gustavo A., Santiago-Martínez, Michel Geovanni, Loeschcke, Volker, Sørensen, Jesper Givskov, Crandall, Sharifa G., Biddinger, David, Rajotte, Edwin G., 2023

Rotting Grapes Don't Improve with Age: Cluster Rot Disease Complexes, Management, and Future Prospects
Plant Disease, Crandall, Sharifa G., Spychalla, Jamie, Crouch, Uma T., Acevedo, Flor, Naegele, Rachel P., Miles, Timothy D., 2022

Etiology, epidemiology and fungicidal management of root rot of chili; A comprehensive review
Plant Health Progress, Ali, M., Rajput, N., Crandall, Sharifa, Atiq, M., Atif, R., 2022

A Multiplex taqman qPCR assay for detection and quantification of clade 1 and clade2 isolates of pseudoperonospora cubensis and pseudoperonospora humuli
Plant Disease, Crandall, Sharifa G., Ramon, Marina L., Burkhardt, Alyssa K., Rodriguez, Julian Camilo Bello, Adair, Nanci, Gent, David H., Hausbeck, Mary K., Ocampo, Lina M.Quesada, Martin, Frank N., 2021

Fungal spore diversity, community structure, and traits across a vegetation mosaic
Fungal Ecology, Crandall, Sharifa G., Saarman, Norah, Gilbert, Gregory S., 2020

A multi-omics approach to solving problems in plant disease ecology
PLoS One, Crandall, Sharifa G, Gold, Kaitlin M, Jiménez-Gasco, María Del Mar, Filgueiras, Camila C, Willett, Denis S, 2020

Beach environmental etiquette: Assessing public awareness of marine reserves on the central coast of California
Ocean and Coastal Management, Moritsch, Monica, Strope, Lauren, Crandall, Sharifa G., 2019

First report of leaf rust on southern highbush blueberry caused by thekopsora minima in California
Plant Disease, Shands, A. C., Crandall, S. G., Ho, T., Miles, T. D., 2018

Advances in diagnostics of downy mildews: Lessons learned from other oomycetes and future challenges
Plant Disease, Crandall, Sharifa G., Rahman, Alamgir, Quesada-Ocampo, Lina M., Martin, Frank N., Bilodeau, Guillaume J., Milest, Timothy D., 2018

Best practices: social research methods to inform biological conservation
Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Crandall, Sharifa G., Ohayon, Jennifer L., de Wit, Luz A., Hammond, J. E., Melanson, Kate L., Moritsch, Monica M., Davenport, Rob, Ruiz, Diana, Keitt, Bradford, Holmes, Nick D., Packard, Heath G., Bury, Jeffrey, Gilbert, Gregory S., Parker, Ingrid M., 2018

Chapter 7: Laws, Policies, and Regulations Concerning Non-Timber Forest Products
Assessment of Non Timber Forest Products in the United States Under Changing Conditions, De Angelis, P., Nygaard-Scott, S., Chamberlain, J., Crandall, Sharifa, Lake, F., McLain, R., Mitchell, C., Patel, A., 2018

Meteorological factors associated with abundance of airborne fungal spores over natural vegetation
Atmospheric Environment, Crandall, Sharifa, Gilbert, Gregory S., 2017

Large-Scale Forest Restoration
Restoration Ecology, Bouley, Paola, Calle, Alicia, Crandall, Sharifa, Davenport, Robert, Holl, Karen, Jenkins, Jeffrey, Lesage, Josephine, Olimpi, Elissa, Oliver, Chad, Skikne, Sarah, Stanford, Brownen, 2015