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Administrative Staff

Cheryl Hagelganz
Finance Manager
345 Johnson Hall
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-4852
Lisa Lujan
Academic Coordinator
131 Johnson Hall
(509) 335-9542
Deb Marsh
Academic Coordinator
131 Johnson Hall
Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-2615

Technical Staff

Mike AdamsMichael J. Adams
Research Technologist

372 Johnson Hall/ B6-B8 PBS, Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-9541

Emran AliEmran 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.

Robert BonsallRobert 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 BurgessJan 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 CoatsKatie Coats
Scientific Assistant with Gary Chastagner

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

Aida Damaso Duarte
Research Associate with Dr. Tim Murray



Joshua DeMacon
Research Intern with Scot Hulbert


Mike DerieMike 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

Babette GundersenBabette 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

S GyawaliSanjaya Gyawali

Research Associate with Lindsey du Toit

Sanjaya Gyawali’s Research Associate position is funded by a USDA NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative Grant No. 2017-51181-26830 in collaboration with the University of Arkansas on marker assisted selection for resistance in spinach germplasm to downy mildew, white rust, and Fusarium wilt. Sanjaya is leading the screening of spinach germplasm for resistance to Fusarium wilt. He obtained a B.Sc. degree in plant pathology and an M.Sc. degree in plant breeding from Tribhuvan University in Nepal, where he also served as a Research and Teaching Assistant in 2000-2001. Sanjaya then worked as a Senior Rice Breeder for the Local Initiative for Biodiversity Research and Development (LI-BIRD) in Nepal from 2001-2005, and completed a PhD degree in plant pathology at North Dakota State University from 2006-2010. From 2010 to 2012, Sanjaya was a Visiting Research Fellow (Postdoctorate) at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon, Canada, where he was involved in breeding rapeseed (Canola), particularly for resistance to white mold caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. From 2013-2016, he served as the Barley Breeder for the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), working on barley improvement program with almost 100 scientists from 30 countries. In 2017, Sanjaya became a Research Associate and Instructor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, breeding for resistance to Fusarium head blight of wheat and barley, and teaching a plant disease management course. Sanjaya is leading the spinach Fusarium wilt breeding project with expertise in disease resistance breeding, genetics, plant-pathogen interactions, molecular genetics, genomics, QTL mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and marker assisted selection.


Jennifer Han
Research Associate with Lori Carris

Barbara HolmesBarbara 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)

Martin JosephMartin 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
(509) 786-9364

Vikas KoundalVikas Koundal
Researech Associate with Achour Amiri

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

Paul MorganPaul Morgan

Research Technologist with Dr. Lindsey du Toit

Paul Morgan, Agricultural Research Technologist I, joined the Vegetable Seed Pathology program of Lindsey du Toit at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC in January 2018. He is assisting with a Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant (No. K1769) investigating the role of mycorrhizae in growth and disease suppression in onion and carrot crops in the Columbia Basin. Paul worked previously with Dr. Debbie Inglis’ Vegetable Pathology program at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC.

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

Lindani MoyoLindani Moyo

Research Associate with Hanu Pappu



Naga teja NatraNaga 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.

Shannon SantoyShannon 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

Hongyan ShengHongyan Sheng
Associate in Research with Tim Murray


Ron SlooRon Sloot
Agricultural Research Technician with Scot Hulbert

Research area: direct-seed cropping systems with root disease emphasis.Greenhouse

Pullman, WA 99164
(509) 335-8715

Tami Stubbs
Associate in Research with Dr. Cynthia Gleason



Tina VasileTina 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 WangMeinan Wang
Reseach Associate with Xianming Chen

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

Wei Wei
Research Associate with Weidong Chen

Elmer WilcowskiElmer 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

Louise WinklerLouise Winkler

Research Associate with Lindsey du Toit

Louisa Winkler graduated with her PhD in plant breeding and genetics from Washington State University in 2017. Before moving to the USA in 2013, Louisa worked on an agroforestry farm in the UK. Throughout her career in agriculture, she has specialized in the needs of organic and low external input production systems. Louisa lives on San Juan Island, where she collaborates remotely with the Vegetable Seed Pathology program in addition to working on organic grain and vegetable seed production. Her work with Lindsey’s program from January to March 2018 was funded by a BIOAg Planning Grant from the WSU Center for Sustaining Agricultural & Natural Resources, to prepare a USDA NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant proposal to support research on bacterial diseases in onion production across the USA. From March to September of 2018, Louisa is working in Lindsey’s program on a project funded by the WSDA Specialty Crop Block Grant on arbuscular mycorrhizae in onion production in the Columbia Basin of Washington and Oregon.

Chuntao YinChuntao Yin
Research Associate with Scot Hulbert

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

Ying ZhaiYing 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.

Lei ZhangLei 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