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Christine Smart

Chris Smart


213 Barton Lab- Geneva
(315) 787-2441

My program has the goal of developing improved management strategies for vegetable diseases by increasing our understanding of pathogen biology and diversity under field conditions. Using this information, we provide growers with novel disease management options.

Research Focus

Academic appt: 50% research; 40% extension; 10% teaching
Areas of research and extension emphasis:
1) Vegetable pathology and disease control specializing in bacterial and oomycete pathogens

2) Population genomics, genotypic diversity and effector complement of plant pathogens

3) Detection and identification of vegetable pathogens

4) public engagement

Outreach and Extension Focus

Diseases of vegetables cause significant losses to growers in New York and around the world. My lab utilizes genomic tools to understand the diversity of plant pathogen populations. This information is used to identify and track pathogen movement. This information is coupled with applied research on host resistance and efficacy of available control products to provide science-based disease management options for growers.

Vegetable production in New York continues to thrive as we are fortunate to have a climate in which a great diversity of vegetables can be grown, and a knowledgeable and engaged group of growers. The goals of my extension program are two-fold. The first goal is to work with conventional, transitional and organic growers, seed companies, chemical companies and private consultants to improve vegetable disease management while promoting sustainable agricultural practices. My lab focuses primarily on bacterial and oomycete pathogens of vegetables. The second goal is to develop and promote partnerships between Cornell University and elementary school educators and students to increase awareness of agriculture. The two goals are very integrated, as much of my elementary science outreach work is focused on vegetables and nutrition. As the percentage of the population that farms decreases, it is critical to educate the rest of the population about where our food is produced and of the value of agriculture.

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow (2016) American Phytopathological Society
  • Awardee (2018) New York Farmers Club
  • Fellow (2017) American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Outstanding accomplishments in applied research (2013) Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Excellence in the teaching, advising and mentoring of graduate and professional students (2012) Cornell University Graduate and Professional Student Association

Selected Publications

Journal Publications

Presentations and Activities

  • Leveraging genomic data to help farmers manage Phytophthora. October 2018. Oregon State University. Corvalis, OR.
  • Following sexual and asexual populations of Phytophthora. April 2018. North Carolina State University. Raleigh NC.
  • Breeding for downy mildew resistance in cucumber. Cucurbitaceae. October 2014. Bay Harbor, MI.