Eric Branch graduated in 2018 from the University of Minnesota with a Plant Science B.S. He is in the first year of his graduate program at Cornell, studying Rhizoctonia root rot in table beets.
This project will impact disease management and forecasting for important soil-borne pathogens, focusing on Rhizoctonia solani. Eric’s current work involves identifying pathogens on beet roots from previous disease sampling. The development and validation of molecular detection methods for R. solani, will quantify the risk of root decay and improve the accuracy of risk management decisions.
Originally from Alexandria, Minnesota, Eric grew up and worked on his family’s fruit and vegetable farm, then researched Passalora fulva at the University of Minnesota’s Horticulture Pathology Lab. Now he’s happy to be working with the vegetable industry in New York. Beyond the lab, Eric enjoys good food and being outdoors, especially cross-country skiing.