I joined the Entomology and Plant Pathology Department in January 2018. Prior to joining the EPP department I was a Post-Doctoral Associate at Cornell University in the laboratory of Dr. Sarah Pethybridge, where I worked on disease forecasting systems for a fungal disease of table beet called Cercospora leaf spot. I also received my Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at Cornell University under the advisement of Dr. Christine Smart working on diagnostics, population genetics, and management of tomato and potato late blight, caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans. I received my B.A. and M.S. degrees from Clemson University, where I worked on alternatives to chemical soil fumigation for vegetable disease management under the advisement of Dr. Anthony Keinath. I have also spent time in private industry as an arborist for Bartlett Tree Experts, as well as Plant Pathology Lead for Zymtronix Catalytic Systems Inc., where I conducted research towards commercializing a novel approach to plant disease management using enzymes. My research focuses on integrated approaches to improving specialty crop disease management. The purpose of my program is to support the specialty crops industry in the State of Tennessee, especially fruit and vegetable producers, through applied plant pathology research and extension, and to mentor undergraduate and graduate students.
My academic appointment is 100% extension. My extension efforts are supported by an applied research program aimed at improving specialty crop disease management. Areas of research interest include sustainable disease management, cultural practices, improving chemical use efficiency, pathogen detection and diagnostics, population genetics of fungi and oomycetes, and monitoring for fungicide resistance. Research is largely guided by disease issues affecting Tennessee specialty crop producers, with the goal of mitigating losses to disease.
The goal of my extension program is to support Tennessee specialty crops producers through education programming aimed at improving disease management. Working closely with extension agents, education programs are focused on integrated pest management to promote effective and sustainable disease management practices. My applied research program supports these efforts by focusing on integrated disease management strategies including cultivar selection, cultural practices, biological and chemical control, and improved understanding of pathogen biology and disease epidemiology.
I do not have an academic teaching appointment, but teaching is a major focus of my program through my extension efforts. Additionally, I am always interested in mentoring motivated students. I have an open-door philosophy, and I view my role as a mentor to push students to access their potential while providing guidance, resources, and direction to support their success.
B.A., Biological Science, Clemson University
M.S., Plant and Environmental Science, Clemson University
Ph.D. Plant Pathology, Cornell University
Graduate program concentrations
Sustainable Disease and Integrated Pest Management Systems
Areas of expertise
Specialty Crop Disease Management, Pathogen Detection and Diagnostic
Sustainable Agriculture, Disease Management, IPM, Detection, Diagnostics, Population Genetics, Specialty Crops, Fruit, Vegetables, Fungi, Oomycetes
Research questions in our laboratory
Current lab members
Extension and Technical Publications
Velandia, M., Denton, R., Aza, O., Marshall, T., Rihn, A., Lockwood, D., Bumgarner, N., & Hansen, Z. 2022. Sample Budget for Blackberry Production Under Various Integrated Pest Management and Marketing Strategies, 2022, D154.
Akinrinlola, R., Gwinn, K., Wang, T., & *Hansen, Z. 2022. Numerous fungicides suppress hemp powdery mildew in the greenhouse in Tennessee, 2021. Plant Disease Management Reports. *Co-advisor to Ph.D. student Rufus Akinrinlola and senior author.
Akinrinlola, R., & *Hansen, Z. 2022. Evaluation of fungicides for managing foliar hemp diseases, 2021. Plant Disease Management Reports. *Co-advisor to Ph.D. student Rufus Akinrinlola and senior author.
Hansen, Z. 2022. Evaluation of fungicides for managing black shank in burley tobacco, 2021. Plant Disease Management Reports. Submitted Dec. 9, 2021.
Hansen, Z., Vail, K., Hale, F., & Bumgarner, N. 2021. Disease and Insect Control in Home Fruit Plantings. University of Tennessee Extension, PB1622.
SELECTED REFEREED PUBLICATIONS
Moore, J., Leib, B., Hansen, Z., & Wszelaki, A. 2022. Comparing overhead versus drip irrigation for production of three cultivars of romaine lettuce on biodegradable plastic mulch. Hort Technology, 32, 39-46. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTTECH04916-21.
Gwinn, K., Hansen, Z., Kelly, H., & Ownley, B. 2022. Diseases of Cannabis sativa caused by diverse Fusarium species. Frontiers in Agronomy, 3, article 796062. https://doi.org/10.3389/fagro.2021.796062.
Siegenthaler, T., Lamour, K., & *Hansen, Z. 2022. Population structure of Phytophthora capsici in the state of Tennessee. Mycological Progress (21), 159-166. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11557-021-01769-7. *Major advisor to M.S. student Tim Siegenthaler, and senior author.
Parada-Rojas, C., Granke, L., Naegele, R., Hansen, Z., Hausbeck, M., Kousik, C., McGrath, M., Smart, C., & Quesada-Ocampo, L. 2021. A Diagnostic Guide for Phytophthora capsici infecting vegetable crops. Plant Health Progress, https://doi.org/10.1094/PHP-02-21-0027-FI.
Siegenthaler, T., & *Hansen, Z. 2021. Sensitivity of Phytophthora capsici from Tennessee to mefenoxam, fluopicolide, oxathiapiprolin, dimethomorph, mandipropamid, and cyazofamid. Plant Disease (105), 3000-3007. https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-08-20-1805-RE. *Major advisor to M.S. student Tim Siegenthaler, and senior author.
Hansen, Z. 2022. Black shank fungicide trials. (Abstract accepted) Tobacco Worker’s Conference, Richmond, VA. January 24-26.
Hansen, Z., Keeney, A., Pfeufer, E., & Bailey, A. 2022. Dark tobacco variety evaluations for susceptibility to angular leaf spot. (Abstract accepted) Tobacco Worker’s Conference, Richmond, VA. January 24-26.
Miller, T., Richmond, M., & *Hansen, Z. 2022. In vitro fungicide testing on the tobacco black shank pathogen, Phytophthora nicotianae, in Tennessee. (Abstract accepted) Tobacco Worker’s Conference, Richmond, VA. January 24-26. *Major advisor to M.S. student Taylor Miller, and senior author.
Barboza, N., Akinrinlola, R., Gwinn, K., Kelly, H., & *Hansen, Z. 2021. Fusarium Species Associated with Hemp in Tennessee. Science of Hemp. Virtual Conference, November 19. *Faculty advisor to B.S. student Nicole Barboza, and senior author.
Gwinn, K., Hansen, Z., Akinrinlola, R., Barboza, N., Kelly, H., & Ownley, B. 2021. Fusarium diseases of Cannabis sativa: a review. Science of Hemp. Virtual Conference, November 19.
For complete list of publications please visit my