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Principal Investigators
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Kendra Baumgartner
Research Plant Pathologist
(530) 754-7461 

Sustainable Viticulture: Examining the effects of viticultural practices (weed control, cover crops) on mycorrhizal fungi. Epidemiology and control of grapevine diseases (Pierce's disease, Armillaria root disease).


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Greg Browne
Research Plant Pathologist  
(530) 754-9351 Gregory.Browne@USDA.GOV

Tree Crop: Biology and control of soilborne diseases that affect tree fruits, nuts, and grapes; detection and identification of Phytophthora spp.



Cai-Zhong Jiang 
Research Plant Physiologist   
(530) 752-7060 CaiZhong.Jiang@USDA.GOV 

Sustainable Floriculture: Develop sustainable production systems to enhance productivity while reducing loses due to post harvest disease, longevity and quality issues. Understand the molecular basis of plant senescence and abscission. 



Takao Kasuga
Molecular Geneticist
(530) 752-0766 

Tree Crop: Comparative genomics and transcriptomics. Investigate the contribution of epigenetics to invasive biology of plant pathogenic microbes.



Daniel Kluepfel 
Research Leader/ Location Coordinator  
(530) 752-1137 

Tree Crop: Molecular microbial ecology of the rhizosphere. Characterize both individual bacterial species and the microbial community which occupy the rhizopshere of important fruit and nut crops such as walnut, almonds and grapes and understand how they interact and communicate with their plant hosts. 


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Andrew McElrone
Research Plant Physiologist
(530) 754-9763 

Sustainable Viticulture: Development of irrigation practices for vineyard systems that optimally produce grapes while minimizing water usage and negative environmental impacts. Understand irrigation practices and water quality on environmental factors that may affect vine physiology, yield, and grape quality in different rootstock/scion combinations.



Amisha Poret-Peterson 
(530) 754-5849 Amisha.PoretPeterson@USDA.GOV

Tree Crop: Explore soil microbial ecology, soil-borne plant pathogens, and the effects of organic amendments on soil communities and processes.



Steven Ostoja
Director, Regional Climate Hub 
(530) 752-3092

Tree Crop: The Climate Hub’s mission is to help California farmers, ranchers, forest land owners, and land managers maintain sustainable communities and ecosystems by adapting to climate variability and change.

To find out more about the USDA California Climate Hub visit:



Mysore Sudarshana (Sudhi)
Research Plant Pathologist  
(530) 752-3621 Mysore.Sudarshana@USDA.GOV

Tree Crop: Applied and molecular biology with emphasis on detection and characterization of new viruses.  



Kerri Steenwerth
Soil Scientist  
(530) 752-7535 Kerri.Steenwerth@USDA.GOV 

Sustainable Viticulture: Ecological approaches for vineyard floor management in Sustainable Viticulture. 



Tom Tai
Research Geneticist
(530) 752-4342 

Rice Genetics: Improve rice germplasm for temperate environments and solve problems facing the U.S. rice industry through the application of molecular genetics and genomics approaches.