Dr. Browne’s research program examines the biology and integrated management of soilborne diseases that affect deciduous tree crops and strawberries. The research is designed to contribute to development of chemical, cultural, and biological alternatives to methyl bromide. A major focus of the lab is determining causes and practical control measures for Prunus replant disease (PRD), that causes stunting and replant failure in almond, peach, and other species of Prunus in absence of plant parasitic nematodes. Evidence to date suggests that PRD has biological cause(s), that it exhibits specificity between peach and grape, and that it can be managed using short-term cover crop rotations as well as several alternative pre-plant fumigants. Additional projects include evaluation of almond and walnut rootsocks and strawberry cultivars for resistance to Phytophthora spp., evaluation of phosphonate treatments for prevention of perennial cankers and crown rot caused by Phytophthora spp. on almond and walnut, and detection and genetic characterization of populations of Phytophthora spp. that affect these crops.
Dr. Browne completed a B.S. in Plant Science at UC Davis, with a specialization in pomology. After two years of work in an operation producing stone fruits and citrus, Dr. Browne returned to UC Davis and completed M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Pathology under the direction of S.M. Mircetich. His thesis projects were concerned with Phytophthora root and crown rots of apple. He served for 3 years as the Farm Advisor for Vegetable Crops and Plant Pathology, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County. In 1995 Dr. Browne joined USDA-ARS in Davis, CA.