Esker Lab

Welcome to the Plant Disease Epidemiology and Field Crop Plant Pathology Program at Penn State University!

The Esker Lab applies novel methods to study plant disease epidemics in field crops. An epidemic is the change in disease intensity over space and time in a population of individuals, and our interest is focused on research that studies the interactions between host, pathogen, and environment, as well as how human beings can affect those interactions. We incorporate and integrate different methods from the biological, social, and physical sciences. Our research focuses on field and forage crops in Pennsylvania like corn, soybean, wheat, oats, barley, and alfalfa. These different crops are on approximately 2.5 to 3 million acres in the state, with an economic value of around $2 billion dollars.