My research focuses on population genetics of fungal plant pathogens, population biology, forest health, forest pathology, and diversity and conservation efforts of native plants. Our lab is interested in understanding complexity of host-pathogen-vector interactions and its associated microbial communities within the phytobiome across both introduced and native ranges. Increases in both native and introduced pathogens as a result of climate change have provided numerous opportunities in basic and applied research. My program’s main goal is to utilize novel genetic and genomic tools to integrate molecular data into pragmatic management decisions and provide solutions for preservation of biodiversity, conservation of native species and overall tree improvement programs. In addition, my research goal is to contribute to hunger eradication efforts on the African continent by preserving biodiversity of indigenous and nutritional plants adapted to climate change. This will not only provide regional food security, but will promote science literacy, and recruit and educate the next generation of science ambassadors in sub-Saharan African countries.
My primary research centers on understanding host-pathogen-vector interactions with a focus on Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) complex. The fungus, Geosmithia morbida, vectored by the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, has been associated with disease outbreaks in walnut trees, Juglans spp., known as TCD. Read More
Phytobiomes of Trees
The complexity of host genetics and its associated microbial communities within the phytobiome (plant itself + environment + micro- and macro-organisms living in, on, or around the host plant) can vary across a plant’s introduced and native ranges, resulting in higher ecosystem multifunctionality and functional redundancy. Host phytobiome plays an important role in host plant defenses, nutrient acquisition, and stress tolerance, serving critical functions in the interaction between plants and the environment. Using walnut trees as a non-model system, we are evaluating the impact of the complex disease system, Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), on host genetic diversity and examining the correlation between phytobiome and disease severity in both introduced and native ranges.
Conservation Genetics and Biodiversity
An additional component of my research program focuses on conservation efforts of native trees, preservation of biodiversity in North American forests, and overall forest and tree health and protection on a global scale. We intend to devote research and teaching efforts to limit the impact of forest diseases and provide an understanding of the evolutionary dynamics, diversity and disease ecology of environmentally, socially and economically, significant trees. Read More
In my lab, we have a number of projects related to population biology/genetics of native and/or economically important plants, as well their pathogens. We are interested in a number of different factors including, but not limited to, understanding the basic biology of the host-pathogen interactions, host-pathogen coevolution, how spatial distribution influences genetic diversity, their population structure and patterns of gene flow. Using these tools can expand our understanding of the ecological and evolutionary dynamics and elucidate historical processes that are a result of the past or current disease outbreak(s).
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” The best way to share your passion is to teach and educate others. That is why I am involved in STEM outreach for both high school and college students. An undergraduate research opportunity I was given as a student was the sole reason I continued my scientific exploration through further education. As a result, I became the person I am today – someone who loves science and loves sharing that passion, enthusiasm and inspiration with students, through both research and teaching. I am a firm believer that the best way to learn is to teach and that one’s education is never ending.
I strongly believe that a teacher is a role model, advisor, guide, inspiration, and someone who is fundamentally involved and entirely dedicated to their student’s success. A teacher leads by example, motivates and encourages students to be the best they can be, and to go beyond their limits and even their own expectations. I feel fortunate and humble that I am able to do a job where I can share my passion and enthusiasm while fostering the educational growth of students. Teaching is an incredible gift, but also an enormous responsibility. As a teacher and researcher, I would like to have the same impact on students that my teachers and role models have had on me. I would like to be the change and inspiration to improve the world we live in by supporting future generations of environmental stewards and scientists.
EPP 411 – Forest Insects and Diseases (3 credits)
EPP 531 – Special Problems in Entomology, Nematology, and Plant Pathology – Population Genetics (3 credits)
EPP 604 – Genomics of Forest Pest and Pathogens (3 credits; Co-teaching special topics class with Dr. Meg Staton)
EPP 604 – PopGen Journal Club (1 credit; Co-teaching special topics class with Dr. DeWayne Shoemaker)
349 Plant Biotechnology Building
2505 EJ Chapman Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4560
B.S., Agriculture-Horticulture, Tennessee Tech University
M.S., Plant Pathology & Entomology, University of Tennessee
Ph.D., Plants, Soils & Insects (Population Genetics), University of Tennessee
85% Research, 10% Teaching, 5% One Health Scholar Initiative
GRADUATE PROGRAM CONCENTRATIONS
Bioinformatics, Genomics, and Molecular Interactions
Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Systematics
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Forest health and forest pathology, population genetics of fungal pathogens, population biology, genetic diversity and conservation of native plants, molecular detection of pest and pathogens, phytobiome (plant host, their environment, and associated communities of macro and microorganisms), food security
Population genetics and genomics, pathogen spread, diversity and spatial distribution, thousand cankers disease, Geosmithia spp., host-pathogen-vector interactions, phytobiome, molecular detection
INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS AND POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHERS
My passion is enabling current and future students to exceed expectations in STEM. Students and scholars seeking research or professional opportunities in my lab should contact me with their CV and statement of intent at my e-mail: email@example.com.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS IN OUR LABORATORY
CURRENT LAB MEMBERS
Names of students and postdocs from the Hadziabdic lab are underlined.**M.S./Ph.D. committee member
- Stackhouse T**, Boggess S, Hadziabdic D, Trigiano R, Ginzel M, Klingeman W (2021) Conventional gel electrophoresis and taqman probes enable rapid confirmation of thousand cankers disease from diagnostic samples. Plant Disease. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-10-20-2258-RE
- Wong WC, Tung HJ, Nurul Fadhilah M, Midot F, Lau SYL, Melling L, Astari S, Hadziabdic D, Trigiano RN, Goh KJ, Goh YK (2021) Genetic diversity and admixed population structure of Ganoderma boninense, causal agent of basal stem rot in African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) in Sumatra, Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. Mycologia 113(5): 920-917.
- Hamm T**, Nowicki M, Boggess S, Klingeman W, Hadziabdic D, Huff M, Staton M, Trigiano R (2021) Development and characterization of 15 novel genomic SSRs for Viburnum farreri. Plants 10: 487. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10030487
- Sapkota S, Boggess S , Trigiano R, Klingeman W, Hadziabdic D, Coyle D, Olukolu B, Kuster R, Nowicki M (2021) Microsatellite loci reveal diversity of Asian Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) in the species native range and in the North American cultivars. Life 11 (6): 531. https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060531
- Nowicki M1, Hadziabdic D1, Trigiano R1, Runge F, Thines M, Boggess S, Ristaino J, Spring O (2021) Microsatellite markers from Peronospora tabacina, the cause of blue mold of tobacco, reveal species origin, population structure, and high gene flow. Phytopathology. 1equal author contributors. https://doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-03-21-0092-R
- Nowicki M1, Hadziabdic D1, Trigiano R1, Boggess S, Kanetis L, Wadl P, Ojiambo P, Cubeta M, Spring O, Thines M, Runge F, Scheffler B (2021) ‘Jumping Jack’: Genomic microsatellites underscore the distinctiveness of closely related Pseudoperonospora cubensis and Pseudoperonospora humuli and provide new insights into their evolutionary past. Frontiers in Microbiology 12:686759. 1equal author contributors. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.686759
- Trigiano R, Boggess S, Wyman C, Hadziabdic D, Wilson S (2021) Propagation methods for the conservation of the endangered whorled sunflower (Helianthus verticillatus). Plants 10(8):1565. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10081565
- Ony M, Klingeman W, Zobel J, Trigiano R, Ginzel M, Nowicki M, Boggess S, Everhart S, Hadziabdic D (2021) Genetic diversity in North American Cercis canadensis reveals an ancient population bottleneck that originated after the Last Glacial Maximum. Scientific Reports. In Press.
- Dominguez-McLaughlin H, D, Lawton C, Hadziabdic D, Boggess S, Ony M, Trigiano R (2021) A genetic analysis of grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) populations in Ireland. Biological Invasions. Accepted.
- Hadziabdic D, Bonello P, Hamelin R, Juzwik J, Moltzan B, Rizzo, Stewart, Villari C (2021) The future of forest pathology in North America. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change: Pests, Pathogens and Invasions. Special Topic: Forest Pathology in Changing Climate. Opinion. Accepted.
- Fowler W, Windham A, Hadziabdic D (2021) Laurel Wilt. University of Tennessee Extension, W1007.