My work focuses on the ecology of plant diseases and the impacts they and their management have on environmental and human health, and involves teaching, research, service and outreach. I do research on environmental factors that lead to plant disease development and on methods to manage the diseases, focused on commercial fruit production in the northeastern US. My program has always been very applied, looking for solutions to plant disease management problems. It has included a range of projects from fungicide screening in apples to developing weather-based models for disease forecasting.
Current research focuses on management of two major apple diseases, apple scab (caused by Venturia inaequalis) and fire blight (caused by Erwinia amylovora). Specifically:
> Determining why the ascospore maturity model for apple scab management has failed and developing modifications to improve accuracy.
> Testing a European decision support tool for apple scab, RIMpro, for both conventional and organic apple production, in comparison to NEWA and other DSS tools.
> Evaluating different sources of virtual weather data as compared to on-site weather stations.
> Examining populations of the fire blight pathogen, Erwinia amylovora, for resistance to streptomycin, and screening alternatives to streptomycin for both conventional and organic use.
Learn more at stockbridge.cns.umass.edu/daniel-cooley
- Ph. D. Plant Pathology, UMass Amherst, 1986
- A.B. Harvard College, 1974