Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center

Small Fruit Pathology

Small Fruit Pathology Team


Small Fruit Pathology Team Washington State University


tovinTobin Peever

WSU’s small fruit pathology research program is focused on the biology, epidemiology and control of diseases affecting small fruit (berries) in the Pacific Northwest.  Current research efforts are focused on the biology and epidemiology of Botrytis cinerea infecting raspberry and blueberry, population and evolutionary biology of fungicide resistance in B. cinerea infecting berry crops and the epidemiology of mummyberry of blueberry caused by Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi. The long-term objectives of the research program are to use knowledge of the basic biology of berry pathogens and their life cycles to improve disease control and sustainability. Other research interests include the role of host specificity in fungal speciation and speciation processes in asexual fungi using Ascochyta and Alternaria fungi as model systems. Recent projects in the lab include the molecular epidemiology of eucalypt rust in Brazil, the systematics, ecology and evolution of Morchella spp. (black morels) in the Pacific Northwest and the evolution of Alternaria spp. infecting wild and cultivated pistachios in Turkey.

olga_2Olga Kozhar

Olga moved to the USA from Ukraine, where she received her Master degree in plant biotechnology from the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine. During her master’s program Olga worked with six novel canola cultivars studying their prospective ability of morphogenesis, rizogenesis and genetic transformation in vitro. Inspired by love for science she decided to expand her borders and continue graduate studies, starting her PhD at the WSU Plant Pathology Department in fall 2014. Olga’s current research is concentrated on studying biology, ecology and population genetics of the plant pathogen Botrytis cinerea on red raspberry in Pacific Northwest.

Maria Newerly Fairbank

Maria Newerly Fairbank was born in Poland but spent most of her childhood in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She completed a Bachelor of Science with honors in Toxicology at the University of Toronto and during her studies, she volunteered at several research laboratories and hospitals. Next, she pursued a M.Sc. degree at the University of Western Ontario in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Her studies focused on the regulation of G protein signaling in mammalian cells using many biochemical and molecular biology techniques. Later, Maria moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Cananda and completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology. Her thesis focused on mammalian endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) pathways and she gained expertise in immunocytochemistry and imaging. During her Ph.D., Maria immigrated to the United States and shortly after receiving her doctorate, she moved with her husband to the East Coast. She received a position at Georgetown University as a Research Specialist I in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology. She worked in a melanoma research laboratory and was an instructor in the Biochemistry M.Sc. Program. After spending a few months at the University, she joined Technical Resources International, Inc. (Bethesda, Maryland) as a medical writer and was involved in the writing and editing of medical and scientific regulatory reports, as well as other non-regulatory submissions for drug development. Recently, her family moved back to Anacortes, WA, where she worked as a substitute teacher for the Anacortes School District.


Dalphy Harteveld

Dalphy started her postdoc at WSU Mount Vernon Research Center in September 2014, which focused on the biology and epidemiology of mummyberry disease of blueberries. She was born and raised in Nieuwenhoorn, a small town in the Netherlands. She did undergraduate degree in Biology and Medical Sciences at Rotterdam University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. For the final thesis of the Bachelor degree she did an internship at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia, working on Fusarium wilt of banana. There, she found her passion for plant pathology. She graduated in 2008, went back to Australia and worked as a technician for the Queesland Agricultural Department and UQ Tree Pathology Group, developing a broad range of skills working with viruses, bacteria and fungi on fruit and nut trees and vegetables. In 2010 she started her PhD at the University of Queensland, which aimed to determine the etiology of Alternaria diseases of apples in Australia. She received her PhD degree in plant pathology in May 2014. After 3 years in WSU’s Small Fruit Pathology program Dalphy started a permanent position as an apple pathologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands Sept 2017.

IMG_0014-squareDavid Dutton

Dave grew up in north-central Kansas and received his BS degree in chemistry and biology from Fort Hays State University. He worked at WSU in biology, chemistry and molecular biology labs for 26 years and ran the Botrytis cinerea fungicide resistance screening program from the lab in Pullman. Dave was responsible for development and implementation of fungicide resistance assays, fruit protection and spore germination assays and assisting other berry pathology research personnel with various aspects of their research. Dave retired from WSU in June 2017.


 Small Fruit Pathology Team Oregon State University


jayJay W. Pscheidt

Jay W. Pscheidt received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madisonin 1985. Since 1988 he has been a professor at Oregon State University as an Extension PlantPathology Specialist. His principal duties are to lead a statewide extension program related to thediagnosis and management of diseases of all fruit, nut, and ornamental/nursery crops. He is also coeditor of regional publication The Pacific Northwest Plant Disease Management Handbook.


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