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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., LAMIT, L., KEITH, A.R., NEWCOMBE, G., GEHRING, C., WHITHAM, T.G., and DIRZO, R. 2014. Genetics-based interactions among plants, pathogens and herbivores define arthropod community structure. Ecology: in press.
    • BUSBY, P.E., NEWCOMBE, G., DIRZO, R., and WHITHAM, T.G. 2014. Differentiating genetic and environmental drivers of plant-pathogen community interactions. Journal of Ecology: DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12270.
    • ASCHEHOUG, E., THARAYIL, N., CALLAWAY, R.M., and NEWCOMBE, G. 2014. Fungal endophyte increases the allelopathic effects of an invasive forb. Oecologia 175: 285-291.
    • NEWCOMBE, G. & PSCHEIDT, J. 2014. 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.
    • BUSBY, P.E., ZIMMERMAN, N., WESTON, D.J., JAWDY, S.A., HOUBRAKEN, J., and NEWCOMBE, G. 2013. Leaf endophytes and Populus genotype affect severity of damage from the necrotrophic leaf pathogen, Drepanopeziza populi. Ecosphere 4(10): article 125 (12 pages).
    • OSTRY, M., RAMSTEDT, M., NEWCOMBE, G., and STEENACKERS, M. 2013. Diseases of Poplars and Willows. Chapter 8 in The Poplar and Willows Book. Edited by Jud Isebrands and Jim Richardson. Published by the International Poplar Commission of UN FAO.
    • 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.

  • 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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