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Craig Nathan Austin

Craig Nathan Austin completed the requirements for a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University in August 2010. He conducted his Ph.D. research in Wayne Wilcox's program, with a focus on the effects of sunlight and its components on the development of grapevine powdery mildew. Working under controlled conditions and in the vineyard, Craig showed that ambient levels of ultraviolet radiation inhibit conidium germination and establishment and development of mildew colonies; that longer-wavelength radiation can heat exposed tissues to a degree inhibitory to disease development; and that these effects are synergistic. He then demonstrated that specific vineyard practices designed to increase sunlight interception by leaves and fruit can substantially reduce disease severity. Craig's work was recognized with achievement awards at annual meetings of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and the American Wine Society, and he was invited to help teach a course for producers at the University of California, Davis. Craig is currently a research scientist at the headquarters of E. I. DuPont near Wilmington, DE.