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Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

College of Natural Resources

phone: (208) 885-7952
fax: (208) 885-6564

875 Perimeter Drive MS 1133
Moscow, ID 83844-1133
George Newcombe

George Newcombe

Office: CNR 203D
Phone: (208) 885-5289
Email: georgen@uidaho.edu
Mailing Address: Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1133
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1133

College of Natural Resources
Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences

Campus Locations: Moscow
With UI Since 1999

  • Research/Focus Areas
    • Forest and plant pathology
    • Invasion biology
    • Plant-soil feedback
    • Disease diagnosis
    • Biological control of invasive plants
    • Endophyte-mediated resistance to pests and pathogens in forest plantations
    • Ecological restoration
  • Biography

    George Newcombe received a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from McGill University in 1983 and holds a doctorate in Botany from the University of Guelph. George moved from his native Canada to the United States in 1991. Today, his research encompasses plant and forest pathology and invasion biology; he is especially interested in the roles of fungi in plant communities. Here are four specific areas of application of his research: 1) diagnosis of fungi that are new to North America or to the region, 2) research on fungi that might protect native trees from exotic pathogens, 3) research on fungi that might be used against invasive plants, and 4) research on genes for resistance to exotic pathogens of plants.

  • Selected Publications
    • BUSBY, P.E., NEWCOMBE, G., DIRZO, R., and WHITHAM, T.G. 2013. Genetic basis of pathogen community structure for foundation tree species in a common garden and in the wild. Journal of Ecology 101: 867-877.
    • RAGHAVENDRA, A.K.H. and NEWCOMBE, G. 2013. The contribution of foliar endophytes to quantitative resistance to Melampsora rust. New Phytologist 197: 909-918.
    • RAGHAVENDRA, A.K.H., NEWCOMBE, G., SHIPUNOV, A., BAYNES, M., and TANK, D. 2013. Exclusionary interactions among diverse fungi infecting developing seeds of Centaurea stoebe. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 84: 143-153.
    • XIAO, S., CALLAWAY, R. M., NEWCOMBE, G., and E.T. ASCHEHOUG. 2012. Models of experimental competitive intensities predict home and away differences in invasive impact and the effects of an endophytic mutualist. American Naturalist 80: 707-718.
    • NEWCOMBE, G. & PSCHEIDT, J. 2012. Rust diseases of Rhododendron and Azalea. In revised edition of the Compendium of Rhododendron and Azalea Diseases. D.M. Benson & R. Linderman, eds. APS Press: in press.
    • BAYNES, M., NEWCOMBE, G., CARTA, L., and ROSSMAN, A. 2012.  A fungivorous nematode and its fungal cultivar alter the endophyte community of Bromus tectorum. Fungal Ecology 5: 610-623.
    • BUSBY, P.E., AIME, M.C., and NEWCOMBE, G. 2012. Foliar pathogens of Populus angustifolia are consistent with a hypothesis of Beringian migration into North America. Fungal Biology 116: 792-801.
    • BAYNES, M., NEWCOMBE, G., DIXON, L., CASTLEBURY, L., & O'DONNELL, K. 2012.  A novel plant-fungal mutualism associated with fire. Fungal Biology 116: 133-144.
    • ASCHEHOUG, E.T., METLEN, K.L., CALLAWAY, R.M., & NEWCOMBE, G. 2012. Fungal endophytes directly increase the competitive effects of an invasive forb.  Ecology 93: 3-8.
    • BENNETT, C., AIME, M.C., and G. NEWCOMBE. 2011. Molecular and pathogenic variation within Melampsora on Salix in western North America reveals numerous cryptic species. Mycologia 103: 1004-1018.
    • NEWCOMBE, G. 2011. Endophytes in Forest Management: Four Challenges. Pages 251-262 in: AM Pirttila, A.C. Frank (eds.). Endophytes of Forest Trees: Biology and Applications. Springer Berlin, Heidelberg, New York.
    • NEWCOMBE, G. and DUGAN, F.M. 2010. Fungal pathogens of plants in the Homogocene. Chapter 1 in: Y. Gherbawy, K. Voigt (eds.). Molecular Identification of Fungi. Springer- Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: pages 3-35.
    • NEWCOMBE, G., MARTIN, F., and A. KOHLER. 2010. Defense and nutrient mutualisms in Populus. Chapter 12 in: S. Jansson et al. (eds.). Genetics and Genomics of Populus. Springer- Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: pages 247-279.

    *See CV for full list of publications and outreach projects.

  • Outreach Projects
    • Ongoing collaboration with the Forest Service and the U.S. National Parks Service on whitebark pine restoration projects at Crater Lake and Mount Rainier.
    • Ongoing project to help the Forest Service find additional biocontrol agents for cheatgrass.
    • Working with forest-products companies to improve disease resistance in hybrid poplar plantations.
"To say that genes are nature and the rest is nurture is almost certainly wrong. Genes are the means by which nurture expresses itself, just as surely as they are the means by which nature expresses itself." - Matt Ridley in The Agile Gene, 2003

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