My postdoctoral research (2008–2011) was on Colletotrichum systematics. Colletotrichum is a fungal plant pathogen causing fruit rots, dieback, and leaf spots of commercially important plants. The postoc was funded by AGMARDT grant 892. More details of the research will be posted soon.
I worked for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Biosecurity New Zealand to develop a specific diagnostic test for Pseudomonas syringae pv. cerasicola. I also worked on a new bacterium infecting tomatoes and capsicums. This bacterium was identified as a new organism and named 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum'. The species name "solanacearum" (N.L. gen. pl.
I was employed by Corbans Viticulture to look for the fungal cause of Esca disease in New Zealand grapevines. Esca is a disease complex varying in symptoms from Petri decline to full-blown Esca, with or without white rot decay. There are several fungal species that are implicated including Phaeomoniella chlamydospora, Stereum hirsutum, Phaeoacremonium aleophilum, and Fomitiporia mediterranea.