Peter Oudemans is Professor of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University and is stationed at the PE Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension where he leads the small fruit pathology program. His position at Rutgers is divided between research (50%), extension (30%) and teaching (20%).
The small fruit pathology program is focused on the development of methodologies to reduce the impact of plant disease and improve fruit quality. In addition, small fruit are vulnerable to a range of abiotic factors that affect fruit quality and interact with pathogens. Recent accomplishments include ground breaking work on the biology and control of fungal diseases such as blueberry anthracnose, cranberry fruit rot, fairy ring disease, mummy berry and Phytophthora root rot. Overheating of cranberry fruit has begun to have a major impact on fruit quality and new technologies to reduce the impact of solar radiation on the fruit are being investigated. Also, several emerging diseases such as the sooty blotch/ fly speck complex, Mycosphaerella leaf spot, and cranberry funky flower are at various stages of investigation. The primary strategy of this program is to increase understanding of the life history and yield impacts of the various diseases and develop biologically rational management methods that can be implemented by commercial growers. Significant strides are being made through the use of remote sensing for detecting, mapping and understanding the impact of plant disease on these important New Jersey fruit crops.
In extension he works with growers to develop and implement economically sound and environmentally rational crop management methods. He has published fact sheets and crop recommendations. He gives regular talks at grower meetings and provides on-farm advice for crop disease management.
Peter also teaches graduate classes in Plant Pathology and undergraduate classes in Agricultural Technology and Remote Sensing.
Peter received his training at the University of New Brunswick (BS), University of Guelph (MS) and the University of California (PhD), as well post graduate training at Duke University and the University of Kansas.