Brooke A.Edmunds  

Regional Extension Specialist-Commercial Greenhouses and Nurseries
Colorado State University Extension

 My Current Position
In Sept. 2008, I began working with Colorado State University Extension as a Regional Specialist serving the commercial greenhouse and nursery industries. 
I'm headquartered in Adams County and serve commercial greenhouse and nursery owners, managers and employees primarily in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Morgan and Weld Counties but am available as a statewide consultant. The program provides technical assistance and training to growers and employees who produce floriculture and vegetable crops. The objective is to provide research-based information to assist production of outstanding cut flowers, bedding plants, plugs, seasonal crops, vegetables and herbs.

About Me
I grew up living in both Des Plaines, IL (a suburb of Chicago) and Vancouver, WA.  I attended Sauk Valley CC near Dixon, IL and transferred to Iowa State University to complete a BS degree in Plant Health & Protection (2000).  While an undergrad, I worked in the ISU Plant Disease Clinic and completed a small research project studying cultivar resistance of the hostas (a landscape plant) to Sclerotium rolfsii var. delphinii with Dr. Mark Gleason.  I expanded my research to include a study of the overwintering ecology of S. rolfsii and finished a MS in Plant Pathology in 2003. 

My PhD Research
I'm currently finalizing my PhD dissertation with Dr. Gerald Holmes in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University.  My research project focused on applied disease management of sweetpotato (more below).  This project has a strong outreach component (I've interacted with over 60 growers and packers in the state!) and has been a perfect match for my long-term goal to work in extension and outreach.

My PhD project focused on improving management strategies for Rhizopus soft rot of sweetpotato caused by the fungus Rhizopus stolonifer.   R. stolonifer is an important wound-dependent postharvest pathogen of sweetpotato storage roots.  The most common management options (resistant varieties and fungicide application) can unpredictably fail and result in heavy losses.  

The first part of my PhD project was to determine which preharvest growing conditions (environmental and cultural factors) result in increased postharvest susceptibility to R. stolonifer. 

The second part of my project was to quantify the impacts occurring on sweetpotato packinglines and determine the effect of the wounds caused by these impacts as they relate to R. stolonifer susceptibility.  (R. stolonifer infection requires a specific type of wound (impact bruise) to initiate infection, but little is known about the effect of wound severity on disease development.)

The third part of my PhD project was to identify new alternative fungicides for control of R. stolonifer.  This involves screening reduced-risk and biological-based products for efficacy.  

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9755 Henderson Road
Brighton, CO 80601
303.725.8122 (cell)
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