Dr. George Hudler holds a B.S. Degree in Forest Management and an M.S. Degree in Plant Pathology from the University of Minnesota. He was awarded the Ph.D. From Colorado State University in 1976 and immediately thereafter joined the faculty at Cornell. He teaches two courses: Pathology of Trees and Shrubs and Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds. He also conducts active outreach and research programs in the area of tree pathology, including publication of a bi-weekly pest management newsletter, BRANCHING OUT. He has received the Award of Merit and the Distinguished Arborist Award from the NYS Arborists Association, the Innovative Teaching Award and the Professor of Merit Award from Cornell`s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Phytopathological Society, the SUNY Chancellor`s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the USDA Northeast Region Award for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Hudler is also the author of a book of the same title as his popular undergraduate course - Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds. In 2004, George became chair of Cornell`s Department of Plant Pathology and, in conjunction with that appointment, also became the director of the Northeast Regional Center for the National Plant Diagnostic Network.
My research program is aimed at learning enough about the cause of lethal bleeding cankers on European beech to allow us to address issues related to prevention and therapy with a sound background on the biology of the pathogen(s).
Outreach and Extension Focus
I conduct and participate in workshops intended to improve the abilities of tree care professionals (e.g. arborists, Christmas tree farmers, nurserymen) and Master Gardeners to identify the causes of tree diseases and make rational decisions about management strategies. Additionally, I publish a bi-weekly newsletter during the growing season, consult with Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory staff on troublesome specimens, and oversee the plant pathology contribution to the Cornell Pest Management Guidelines. In an completely different framework, I also make presentations to lay audiences throughout the nation, including many Cornell alumni, about my course "Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds" and because of the high visibility of that effort, am often quoted in the press with regard to mold/fungus related topics. My extension program attempts to convince plant health care professionals that integrated pest management practices are sound and will provide adequate tools for management of plant diseases with least impact on non-target organisms.
I teach two courses. One is an upper level (junior, senior, grad) course titled Diseases of Trees and Shrubs. The second is intended for students with little or no science background, titled Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds.
The focus of my classroom teaching efforts are to acquaint students with information about fungi in one course and about tree diseases in another course but in both cases to have them leave the classes comfortable with the notion that they can learn more on their own and will want to be lifelong learners.
Awards and Honors
- Edgerton Career Teaching Award () CALS
- Fellow (2014) American Phytopathological Society
- Fellow (2020) American Phytopathological Society
- Le, D. P., Smith, M., Hudler, G. W., & Aitken, E. (2014). Pythium soft rot of ginger: Detection and identification of the causal pathogens, and their control. Crop Protection. 65:153-167.
Presentations and Activities
- Pear Trellis Rust: A New Challenge For Ornamental Pear in New York State. 71st Annural Meeting of the Northeastern Division. October 2011. The American Phytopathological Society. New Brunswick, NJ.