Petri dishes with cultures


Students extracting RNA
Students extracting RNA from plant tissue

Welcome to the Field of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology, which is managed by the Section of Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology in the School of Integrative Plant Sciences at Cornell University.

From our beginnings as one of the first departments of plant pathology in the country, our tradition of excellence has centered on training graduate students for leadership in the field.  As a graduate student in our Department, you will be part of this extraordinary legacy.

We invite you to explore our three program concentrations

Or browse our faculty profiles to see where you would fit into our team.

Graduate Student Research Spotlight

Zachariah Hansen

Zachariah Hansen

Zachariah Hansen

I am interested in fungal and oomycete pathogens of vegetables and integrated approaches to managing the diseases they cause. The oomycete Phytophthora infestans causes late blight, a devastating disease of potato and tomato. My research focuses on improving approaches to late blight management, as well as understanding more about the genetics of P. infestans through genotyping-by-sequencing. I have used spore traps coupled with quantitative PCR for several seasons to detect inoculum prior to symptom development in the field, and I am currently developing DNA-based detection and diagnostic tools for P. infestans.