St. John 307
3190 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8329
Fax: (808) 956-2832
*K. G. Rohrbach, PhD (Chair)-pineapple diseases, epidemiology
*A. M. Alvarez, PhD-bacterial diseases
*J. J. Cho, PhD-diseases of vegetable crops, integrated pest management (Maui Branch Station)
*S. A. Ferreira, PhD-crop protection, extension
*J. Hu, PhD-virology
*W. H. Ko, PhD-soil microbiology (Hawai'i Branch Station)
*S. C. Nelson, PhD-epidemiology, extension (Komohana Agriculture Complex)
*W. T. Nishijima, PhD-tropical fruits and nuts, forest and tree diseases, ornamental extension (Komohana Agriculture Complex)
*J. J. Ooka, PhD-field crop and forest pathology, epidemiology (Kaua'i Branch Station)
*D. Schmitt, PhD-nematology
*B. S. Sipes, PhD-nematology
*E. E. Trujillo, PhD-soil-borne diseases, biological control of weeds
*J. Y. Uchida, PhD-fungal pathology
Cooperating Graduate Faculty
D. Borthakur, PhD-molecular biology
D. Gardner, PhD-pathology of native vegetation
S. S. Patil, PhD-host parasite physiology
M. Shintaku, PhD-virology (UH Hilo)
Degrees Offered: MS in botanical sciences (plant pathology), PhD in botanical sciences (plant pathology)
The Academic Program
Plant pathology (PPTH) is the study of plant diseases, microorganisms that cause diseases, host-pathogen interactions, and disease control. Plant pathologists concentrate on agricultural crops of economic importance, but the field also includes the biology and host-pathogen interactions of numerous other plant-pathogen systems. The field consists of several subdisciplines including phytomycology, plant virology, bacteriology, and nematology, as well as epidemiology, crop protection, and the molecular biology of host-pathogen interactions.
Students should have their undergraduate preparation in botany, horticulture, agronomy, or microbiology. Plant pathology has its foundation in biology and agriculture and offers wide opportunities in both basic and applied areas of biology, plant sciences, and agriculture. The plant pathology program at the University of Hawai'i offers students a unique opportunity to gain knowledge of the vast diversity of tropical crops and tropical plant pathogens.
Applications for admission must include GRE scores for verbal and quantitative aptitude. Intended candidates must have or acquire adequate preparation in plant anatomy, biochemistry, ecology, genetics, physiology, and systematics. Candidates must present evidence of adequate preparation in physics, organic chemistry, statistics, and calculus.
Plan A (thesis) and Plan B (non-thesis) are separate MS programs with distinct purposes. Plan A is the usual program to be taken by candidates. Plan B is offered at the discretion of the graduate faculty for students who do not intend to make research in plant pathology their profession. Plan B programs emphasize general crop protection and/or integrated pest management.
Graduates with the MS degree find employment in research, extension industry, and business. However, most students continue their studies or teach in two-year colleges.
Plan A students must complete 12 credit hours of thesis research and a minimum of 18 additional credit hours in courses approved by a candidate's committee. Plan B students must complete 30 credit hours, 18 of these in the major field or an approved related field in courses numbered 600 and above. In addition, at least 6 credits, but not more than 9 credits, must be for directed research in aspects of plant pathology chosen by the candidate in consultation with his or her committee and must be done in two laboratories.
All students take a diagnostic examination within their first two weeks in a degree program. A requirement of all degrees is the presentation of four seminars: the first outlines the background of a research problem and the student's proposed research program; the second and third are focused on a topic; and the final, presented at the conclusion of the program, describes the research results and conclusions. At this time the student is examined by the thesis or dissertation committee.
The dissertation is expected to be an original contribution based on independent research. It is initiated by the preparation of a critical review of the literature, which becomes the basis for a dissertation proposal. Dissertation research for the PhD degree is done in an aspect of plant pathology for which a member of the graduate faculty of the field will accept responsibility as committee chair.
Recipients of doctorates generally accept positions in university teaching and research, extension, industry, or government.
There is no minimum credit requirement for the doctoral degree in botanical sciences (plant pathology). The student works closely with his or her advisory committee to select appropriate courses offered by the department of plant pathology and other departments in the University. A comprehensive examination and a dissertation must be successfully completed.