Helene Dillard

Helene Dillard

Professor

Barton Lab (Geneva) and Roberts Hall (Ithaca)
(607) 255-2237

My primary program efforts concentrate on the biology, ecology, and management of fungal pathogens causing diseases of vegetable crops. Areas of interest include sustainable disease management strategies and integrated pest management (IPM); epidemiology of foliar pathogens; pathogenic fungi in the genera Sclerotinia, Botrytis, Colletotrichum, Puccinia, Alternaria, and Phytophthora; disease management in transitional and organic cropping systems; research-extension-instruction integration; international extension systems and crop protection.

Research Focus

Major projects have included studies on the epidemiology and management of anthracnose diseases with emphasis on Colletotrichum lindemuthianum on beans and Colletotrichum coccodes on tomatoes; biology and management of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on beans and cabbage with an emphasis on cultural practice management, and biological and chemical control strategies; biological control of Botrytis cinerea on greenhouse tomatoes; epidemiology and sustainable management of Alternaria leaf spot on crucifers caused by Alternaria brassicicola; quantitative epidemiology and management of rust caused by Puccinia sorghi on sweet corn; and epidemiology of Stewart's bacterial wilt of corn caused by Erwinia stewartii. Project foci for 2013-2014 are on sustainable management of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on snap and lima beans and control of Alterneria brassicicola on crucifers and characterization of isolates.

Outreach and Extension Focus

My extension program focuses on the development of sustainable management practices for fungal diseases of vegetables and dissemination of the information via newsletters, fact sheets, in person presentations at conferences and workshops, and online at the Dillard Lab website (http://web.pppmb.cals.cornell.edu/dillard/) . The activities are essentially conducted year round and are linked to ongoing research efforts. Vegetable disease information is disseminated to local, regional, and statewide cooperative extension educators and specialists, to fresh and processing food industry representatives, pest control companies, and to private crop consultants.
I also serve as the statewide Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension. Since 1911, Cornell University has provided high quality, research based programs and resources to all New Yorkers through the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) educational system. Today, we serve New Yorkers' needs through educational programs in 5 broad areas: agriculture and food systems; environment and natural resources, sustainable energy, and climate change; 4-H youth development/children, youth and families; nutrition, food safety and security, and obesity prevention; community and economic vitality.

Awards and Honors

  • CALS Outstanding Faculty Award (2013) CALS Alumni
  • New York Farmers Medal (2013) NY Farmers Association
  • National Women of Color STEM All Star (2008)
  • APS Fellow (2006) The American Phytopathological Society
  • Excellence in Extension Award (1992) American Phytopathological Society

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

  • Bitsadze, N., Strauss, J., & Dillard, H. R. (2012). Effect of simultaneous application of selected fungal endophytes and Coniothyrium minitans against sclerotia of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.. Phytopathology. 102:S4.12.
  • McGrath, M. T., Strauss, J., & Dillard, H. R. (2011). First report of Phytophthora blight caused by Phytophthora capsici on snap bean in New York. Plant Disease. 95:1028.
  • Roper, M., Seminara, A., Cobb, A., Dillard, H. R., & Pringle, A. (2010). Dispersal of fungal spores on a cooperatively generated wind. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 107:17474-17479.
  • Shah, D. A., & Dillard, H. R. (2010). Managing foliar diseases of processing sweet corn in New York with strobilurin fungicides.. Plant Disease. 94:213-220.
  • Strauss, J., & Dillard, H. R. (2009). First Report of Sclerotinia Stem Rot Caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on Hibiscus trionum in New York. Plant Disease. 93:673.
  • Dillard, H. R., & Cobb, A. C. (2008). Alternaria alternata and Plectosporium tabacinum on snap beans: pathogenicity, cultivar reaction, and fungicide efficacy. Plant Health Progress. Online.

Research Report

  • Strauss, J., Carissimi, A. M., Kreis, R. A., & Dillard, H. R. (2012). Evaluation of bean and soybean cultivar reactions to Phytophthora blight, 2011.. p. V042 Plant Disease Management Reports.
  • Strauss, J., Carissimi, A. M., & Dillard, H. R. (2012). Evaluation of fungicides for control of Alternaria leaf spot in cabbage, 2011.. p. V117 Plant Disease Management Reports.
  • Strauss, J., Carissimi, A. M., & Dillard, H. R. (2012). Evaluation of fungicides for control of Alternaria leaf spot in cauliflower, 2011.. p. V116 Plant Disease Management Reports.
  • Strauss, J., Carissimi, A. M., & Dillard, H. R. (2012). Evaluation of fungicides for control of white and gray mold in snap beans, 2011.. p. V041 Plant Disease Management Reports.

Presentations and Activities

  • Effect of simultaneous application of selected fungal endophytes and Coniothyrium minitans against sclerotia of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum.. August 2012. American Phytopathological Society. Providence, RI.
  • Current status and perspectives of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum control.. July 2012. Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa. Parana, Brazil.
  • Feast and Famine: Feeding the Future. November 2011. Southern University and A & M College. Baton Rouge, LA.