I am associate professor of Plant Pathology at the Departmento de Fitopatologia of the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Brazil, since February 2014. Prior to joining UFV, I was an assistant professor at the Universidade Federal of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) from 2006 to 2013.
My primary responsibilities are teaching and research including significant time for mentoring graduate students of the Graduate Program in Plant Pathology and training undergrads in the field of plant disease epidemiology and statistical modelling.
My major interests in research in my lab include measuring, modeling and predicting plant disease epidemics and the resulting yield losses applicable to any pathosystem. For such, I use statistical and simulation modeling to:
- Develop and evaluate disease and loss assessment methods
- Describe and model epidemics patterns at both time and space
- Assess the risk of disease occurrence, development and spread
- Model disease-yield relationships
- Evaluate efficacy and economics of disease management strategies
I conducte research on several pathosystems but more frequently Fusarium head blight, soybean rust, rice and wheat blast, white mold, stalk and ear rot of maize. Specific approaches include monitoring and assessing the impact of fungicide resistance on disease controle and the diversity of mycotoxigenic Fusarium on cereals.
One of the most enjoyable component of my work is to advise students from both undergrad to graduate levels. I was pleased to have worked with exceptional students over these years. My basic principles are dual respect, strong commitment and a passion for what we do. Students should be able to think independently, work collaboratively, build professional networks and learn to work more effectively using the right tools to be a modern scientist.
I was early involved in scholarly publication activities since my doctoral studies such as reviewing and editing manuscripts for several journals. I am currently Editor in Chief for TPP (2017 to 2021) and continue to act as Senior Editor for Plant Disease APS journal (2016-2018).
I am strong supporter of open, transparent and reproducible science. All research outcomes of my Lab, such as data and scripts for data analysis, are made available at my GitHub repositories and stored in data repositories such as Open Science Framework.
I am supporter of pre-prints for enhanced visibility and feedback from the community prior to peer-review. In early 2018, I founded with Adam Sparks the Open Plant Pathology initiative, a community of modelers and computational researchers involved in plant pathology, plant disease epidemiology, pathogen population biology, microbial ecology and genomics, that supports the several forms of Open Science practices in Plant Pathology.
More about me
I was born in Pelotas, a city located in the very south of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. There, I went to Agronomy school and had a chance to work as young scientist in a plant biology research lab. After graduation, I decided I would be ascientist and received my master and doctoral certificate from the Faculdade de Agronomia Eliseu Maciel, Universidade Federal de Pelotas.
During my doctoral studies I was fortunate to get a “sandwich” fellowship to spent a year as a visiting student at the Bergstrom’s Lab at the Department of Plant Pathology - currently Plant Pathology and Plant-microbe Section, Cornell University. There, I could deepen my understanding of a fascinating pathogen, Fusarium graminearum, the main cause of Fusarium head blight of small grain crops.
After the defense, during late 2004, I accepted a postdoctoral position at XB Yang Lab, at the Plant Pathology Department in Iowa State University, where I worked for almost two years on modeling soybean rust. I came back to Brazil after accepting a faculty position at the Departamento de Fitossanidade, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, where I worked from 2006 to 2013.