College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology


Technical Staff

Mike Adams

Michael J. Adams

Research Technologist

372 Johnson Hall/ B6-B8 PBS, Pullman, WA 99164

(509) 335-9541


Ali smEmran Ali

Research Associate with Achour Amiri

On July 1st, Emran Ali joined the Pathology Lab at Washington State University’ Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Wenatchee, WA, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate under the supervision of D. Achour Amiri. Ali completed his MS and PhD in Plant molecular biology and virology from Ehime University, Japan. His doctoral work focused on the molecular bases of plant-microbe interactions and primarily on RNA silencing-mediated disease resistance mechanisms. For the last two years, Ali held a postdoctoral position within the Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS) ‘SOYRES’ team at the Ohio State University. He has been working to assess the effect of down-regulation on resistance manifestation and functional analysis of soybean candidate genes potentially involved in quantitative resistance to microbial pathogens and other pests. In his current position, Ali will be investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in fungicide resistance development in tree fruit pathogens as well as understating the host-pathogen interaction in some fungal pathogens newly reported in the Pacific Northwest.

Bonsall smRobert Bonsall

Research Scientist with David Weller

As a Biochemist, senior research scientist and director of the USDA, Agricultural Research Service’s Bio Analytical Laboratory, Research and Developmental Chemistries at Washington State University (WSU), I was responsible for the initial design of the laboratory and instrumentation. My expertise is in Biochemistry with emphasis on small molecule metabolomics and instrumentation. I conduct hands-on research to develop chemical isolation protocols and instrumental analysis used by researchers worldwide. Photodiode array (PDA) High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) & PDA Ultra Pressure Liquid Chromatography (UPLC) for isolation, identification, chemical modification and spectral characterization of plant signal molecules and bacterial antibiotics. HPLC & UPLC mass spectral analysis (Thermabeam electron impact, Quadrupole/Orthoganol Time of Flight and Synapt Tri-Wave MS) to elucidate the structure of antibiotics and small molecule intermediates involved in biocontrol and bio-markers of wheat and barley health. These antibiotics are produced in field soils and are responsible for the biocontrol of root diseases of wheat, barley and biofuel crops. The rhizosphere metabolome can be defined and further understood by identifying these small molecule intermediates. They are also used as specific biomarkers for the biocontrol of root diseases of crops in agricultural fields. Based on my research achievements at WSU, I was honored the Presidents Employees Excellence Award in 1999.

Jan Burgess

Ag Res Tech II with Ken Eastwell

Jan performs thermal therapy to obtain fruit trees that are free of viruses.
24106 N. Bunn Rd., Prosser, WA 99350
(509) 786-9391

Katie Coats

Scientific Assistant with Gary Chastagner

2606 W Pioneer Way, Puyallup, WA 98371
(253) 445-4500


Annie DeBauw

Agricultural Research Technologist II with Gary Chastagner

2606 W Pioneer Way, Puyallup, WA 98371
(253) 445-4500

Mike Derie

Mike Derie

Scientific Assistant Senior with Lindsey du Toit

Scientific Assistant for the Vegetable Seed Pathology program located at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. Mike assists with lab, greenhouse, and field research on diseases affecting small-seeded vegetable seed crops in Washington.
16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273, 360-848-6142

Marianne Elliott

Research Associate with Gary Chastagner

2606 W Pioneer Way, Puyallup, WA 98371
(253) 445-4500

Daniel Farber

Research Associate with Dennis Johnson

Karen Hansen

Babette Gundersen

Agricultural Research Technologist III with Debra Inglis

Babette works as Ag Tech III in the Vegetable Pathology Program at WSU-Mount Vernon NWREC. Winner of the WSU President’s Employee Excellent Award in 2002, she is actively involved in field, greenhouse, and laboratory research projects on a wide range of vegetables including green peas and red potatoes.
16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 848-6135

Jennifer Han

Research Associate with Lori Carris

Karen Hansen

Karen Hansen

Biological Research Technician with Linda Thomashow

Karen performs microbiology and genetics work relating to biological control of fungal root disease.
329 PBS, Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-3269

henrichs-smBrian Henrichs

Research Intern with Lindsey du Toit

Brian joined Lindsey du Toit’s Vegetable Seed Pathology program at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC in 2016. His primary focus is a research investigating the role of mycorrhizae in growth and disease suppression in onion and carrot crops in the Columbia Basin. The 2-year project is funded by the Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant (No. K1769). Brian completed his BS degree in zoology in 2010 at Oregon State University, followed by an MS degree in zoology in 2014. Brian’s Master’s thesis focused on the community ecology of blood parasites, and how interactions within a host determine which parasites are able to persist and eventually cause disease.

Bill Howell

Barbara Holmes

Agricultural Research Technologist I with Lindsey du Toit

Agricultural Research Technologist I for the Vegetable Seed Pathology program located at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. Barbara assists with lab, greenhouse, and field research on diseases affecting small-seeded vegetable seed crops in Washington.
16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 848-6130

Chandra Jack

Research Associate with Maren Friesen

Jeremy Jewell

Research Associate with Kiwamu Tanaka
(Visit his Profile Link for more information)

joseph-smMartin Joseph

Scientific Assistant Clean Plant Center NW

Martin is the tissue culture specialist that develops grapevines and hop plants that are free of viruses for the National Clean Plant Network.
24106 N. Bunn Rd., Prosser, WA 99350

KoundalVikas Koundal

Vikas Koundal joined Achour Amiri’s program at the Washington State University (WSU) in December, 2016.  Koundal obtained his M.S. degree in biotechnology and Ph.D. degree in bioscience with specialization in plant pathology.  His Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Structural genomics, synergy and silencing of cucumber mosaic virus and tomato leaf curl virus.”  He worked as a senior research fellow at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and received fellowship from the Department of Biotechnology, India.  His current and future research work at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee focuses on evaluating risks and benefits of methods used for fungicide applications on pome fruit in postharvest.  In addition, Koundal aims to develop strategies to mitigate fungicide resistance development in blue and gray molds.

Yan LiuYan Liu

Research Associate with Xianming Chen



Emily McLachlan

Lab manager with Maren Friesen

Natalia Moroz

Research Associate with Kiwamu Tanaka
(Visit her Profile Link for more information)

Natra smNaga teja Natra

Research Associate with Naidu Rayapati

I received PhD in molecular plant virology from University of Hyderabad, India, in 2014. I Joined Dr. Rayapati’s lab in early 2015 to study various aspects of soil-borne virus diseases in Washington vineyards. I’m also collaborating with Dr. Rayapati’s team in other projects related to diagnosis and molecular biology of grapevine viruses.

 Mark Nelson

Scientific Assistant with Gary Grove

24106 N. Bunn Rd., Prosser, WA 99350
(509) 786-2226

probst-2016-smClaudia Probst

Research Associate with Gary Grove

After receiving her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology & Microbiology at The University of Arizona, Claudia joined Dr. Gary Grove’s Research Group in 2012.  Her research seeks to understand aspects of the epidemiology, ecology, and population biology of sweet cherry powdery mildew. Her primary goals are to identify specific factors that promote fruit infection, identify alternative sources of primary inoculum and to elucidate the role of the cherry fruit in the fungal life cycle. Claudia combines basic and applied research to improve existing and develop new disease management approaches that can be implemented at the farm level
24106 N. Bunn Rd., Prosser, WA 99350  (509) 786-2226

Shannon Santoy

Scientific Assistant with Ken Eastwell

Shannon performs and validates nucleic acid based testing protocols to support the regulatory mission of our program. She also develops molecular diagnostic methods to support the virology research programs in fruit trees, grapevines and hop.
24106 N. Bunn Rd., Prosser, WA 99350
(509) 786-9558

Kyryll Savchenko

Research Associate with Lori Carris


Hongyan Sheng

Associate in Research with Tim Murray


Ron Sloot

Ron Sloot

Agricultural Research Technician with Scot Hulbert

Research area: direct-seed cropping systems with root disease emphasis.Greenhouse
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-8715

Tina Vasile

Ag Technician I with Ken Eastwell

Tina manages the WSU ELISA Service Center that performs virus testing for many different crops including fruit trees, grapevines, hops, legumes and ornamentals. This laboratory supports the National Clean Plant Network for perennial specialty crops and the seed certification programs of the western states.
24106 N. Bunn Rd., Prosser, WA 99350  (509) 786-9382

Meinan Wang

Reseach Associate with Xianming Chen

233 PBS, Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-1596

Wei Wei

Research Associate with Weidong Chen

Elmer Wilcowski

Nursery Worker with Ken Eastwell

Elmer maintains the greenhouses and orchards that support the National Clean Plant Network for fruit trees.
24106 N. Bunn Rd., Prosser, WA 99350  (509) 786-9317

Chuntao Yin

Chuntao Yin

Research Associate with Scot Hulbert

309 Johnson Hall, Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-6480


zhai-2016-smYing Zhai

Research Associate with Hanu Pappu

I received PhD in Plant Pathology from Washington State University in 2014. My research focus is on tospovirus-plant interactions.


zhang-newLei Zhang

Research Associate with Cynthia Gleason

My research is focused on studying molecular plant-nematode interactions. Columbia root-knot nematode (CRKN, Meloidogyne chitwoodi) was first described from the Pacific Northwest in 1980 and is a serious pest on potato industry in the region. I am working on identifying secreted CRKN proteins called effectors by using comparative transcriptome and genome analyses. Using nematode effectors as molecular probes, I will study how potato plants respond to CRKN infection during both compatible and incompatible plant-nematode interactions. The knowledge generated from the research will be used to develop novel and effective CRKN management tactics by taking advantage of effector-assisted resistance breeding and biotechnological techniques.
364 Johnson Hall

Administrative Staff

Cheryl Hagelganz

Finance Manager

345 Johnson Hall
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-4852

Lisa Lujan

Academic Coordinator

131 Johnson Hall

Deb Marsh

Academic Coordinator

131 Johnson Hall
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-2615

Department of Plant Pathology, PO Box 646430, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6430, 509-335-9541, Contact Us
© 2017 Washington State University | Accessibility | Policies | Copyright | Log in