Research Plant Pathologist
The research program conducted by Dr. Mazzola is focused on the development of biologically-based sustainable methods to enhance overall plant health and control soilborne diseases, with emphasis on organic agro-ecosystems. To address this goal, significant effort is centered on acquiring an understanding of how biotic and abiotic elements of the soil environment affect the structure and function of soil microbial communities. Current investigations include identification of the microbiological elements operating in amendment-induced soilborne disease control, the temporal and spatial dynamics of the microbial response responsible for pathogen suppression, the operative microbial mechanism contributing to the response, and the impact of soil amendments on composition of non-target communities (e.g. protozoa) and ecosystem function (e.g. nitrogen cycling).