Associate Professor of Forest Pathology
Ecology & Conservation Biology
Dr. George Newcombe received a BS in Plant Science from McGill University in 1983 and a PhD in Botany from the University of Guelph in 1988. George’s research encompasses plant and forest pathology, and invasion biology. Specifically, his group is interested in the roles of fungi in plant communities. Photo in Beijing, September 2007, for the International Workshop on Biological Control of Invasive Species of Forest [Photo courtesy of Yilmaz Balci, University of Maryland]. more info
- Diagnosis of fungi that are new to North America or to the region. In 1992, George discovered for the first time in North America the Eurasian poplar leaf rust fungus, Melampsora larici-populina (Newcombe and Chastagner 1993). Since then, he has been a regular contributor to this element of invasion biology.
- Research on fungi that might protect native trees from exotic pathogens. With Beccy Ganley, a former PhD student, and Richard Sniezko, a colleague in the Forest Service, George discovered that selected endophytes might protect western white pine trees from the exotic disease, white pine blister rust. George and Richard are now using the same approach to see if endophyte inoculations of outplanted seedlings could make the difference in whitebark pine restoration. George is also attempting to use endophytes to protect hybrid popular plantations.
- Research on fungi that might be used against invasive plants. George has been researching selected endophytes that might work against invasive plants such as spotted knapweed, meadow hawkweed, and cheatgrass.
- Research on genes for resistance to exotic pathogens of plants. George has been conducting research in this area since getting involved in hybrid poplar research in 1991.
FOR 531: Invasion Biology (for graduate students)
FOR 468: Forest and Plant Pathology (for senior undergraduate students)