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Dr. Wilcox receives Outstanding Achievement AwardDisease management is a critical component of viticulture east of the Rockies, and over his career Dr. Wilcox has delivered science-based guidelines that have allowed growers across the region to manage diseases more efficiently and sustainably. His in-depth knowledge of the biology of fungal pathogens has been key to improving the timing of management interventions over the course of the growing season.
A northern California native, Dr. Wilcox received his B.S. in Horticulture and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Plant Pathology, all from the University of California at Davis. Since 1984, he has been a professor at Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva (Finger Lakes region), where he has led the grape pathology program for the past 21 years.
His programmatic focus is on the applied biology and practical, integrated management of the major fungal diseases of grapes, utilizing both viticultural and fungicidal tools. He has published nearly 100 research articles in scientific journals, in addition to numerous technical reports and popular articles in grower newsletters and trade magazines, and is the senior editor of the forthcoming 2nd Edition of the Compendium of Grape Diseases, Disorders, and Pests, an international publication of the American Phytopathological Society. He is also a co-author of the New York/Pennsylvania Pest Management Guidelines for Grapes, and his yearly "Grape Disease Control" newsletter provides grape growers throughout eastern North America with current, practical guidance for the growing season. He also organized and co-teaches a course in Grape Pest Management, in support of Cornell’s undergraduate major in viticulture and enology. His extension activities have focused on educational programs for grape growers, vineyard managers, winery owners, and private and public sector agricultural advisers on the identification, biology, and management of infectious diseases. Dr. Wilcox’s research program is integrated with his extension program, providing data for educational programs and opportunities to demonstrate specific concepts in the field.
His work is valued by the grape industry and colleagues alike for its impact, as demonstrated by his ASEV Best Viticulture Paper Award in 2012 for research that correlated powdery mildew severity with canopy density. In 2015, he received the award again for seminal work on the persistence of sulfur spray residues during ripening and wine making. In 2013, he received the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research Best Viticulture Paper Award for the optimization of a new technique to detect pathogens on grape berries before disease symptoms are visible.
Dr. Wilcox will receive his award at the 40th Annual ASEV-ES Conference in Dunkirk, NY July 23-25, 2015, where he will give a presentation on “Mold & Mildews, Spots & Rots: Grape Pathology in the East”. For more information about the conference, visit http://www.asev-es.org/.