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Tropical Leaves


Image by Xipu Li

The Forest Pathology Laboratory engages in research aimed at understanding how novel tree-associated fungal pathogens are emerging in the landscape and how they might be better detected and managed. To this end, we explore 'how' through studies focused on discovery of novel dispersal pathways, hosts, and mechanisms for transmission.

Discovery & Diagnosis

Image by Drew Hays

Through understanding of pathways and life histories (including connectivity between natural, agricultural, and human systems), a variety of tools are being developed in our lab to improve detection and management strategies.

Analysis & Solutions

Image by Marjan Blan | @marjanblan

Redefining the Discipline

Our lab is collaborating with a diverse and dynamic team of international colleagues to re-define the disciplines of forest pathology and fungal disease ecology. Current projects explicitly challenge antiquated paradigms designed in a far less globally-connected world, with less understanding of microbial ecology, the impacts of international trade, and implications of zoonoses (and related phytonoses). Look for exciting new discoveries in the near future from our lab as we explore the connections between tree and human pathogens, advance the field of pyroaerobiology, and improve our understanding of fungal disease ecology.



Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Goal and General Philosophy:

It is a goal of The Forest Pathology Lab to treat all people with dignity, respect and support equality for all. It is important to listen to others before you speak. This is especially true of someone who feels they have suffered an injustice, given that minority voices are often difficult to hear in a majority.


A commitment to diversity and inclusion should not simply be a philosophy or statement. It shouldn’t be just an initiative created by a department or college. It should be a way of life. If it isn’t, then you don’t understand the problem or simply have no empathy for others. That doesn’t mean it is easy to achieve. Often, the biggest challenges come when managing a group of others, such as a group of employees, such as a lab. In this situation, an attempt should be made to maintain a diverse lab that openly celebrates its diversity so that everyone feels welcome and included.

Image by Olivia Hutcherson


The School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences offers three graduate degrees: Master of Forest Resources and Conservation, Master of Science and PhD in Forest Resources and Conservation. 

Enthusiastic students interested in pursuing graduate studies in a field related to Dr. Jason Smith's research are encouraged to use the contact form below. Undergraduate students are also welcome to collaborate with us as lab or field assistants. Please include a brief description of your interest and send a resume to Dr. Jason Smith at

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