Horticulturist and Field Plant Pathologist

Dustin grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia where he completed his BSc (Agr) in 2013. He worked during the summer at the Crop Development Institute where he was tasked with identifying diseases of cereals and oilseed crops. He moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 2013 where he completed an MSc in Plant Pathology in 2016. His MSc was focused on fungicide timing to control leaf spots, and Fusarium head blight in spring wheat, and whether resistance to triazole and strobilurin fungicides had developed in any of 100 races of tan spot collected across the prairies.

Dustin published two peer reviewed journal articles from his MSc work in the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology and Crop Protection. He also conducted field disease surveys across Saskatchewan during this time and published three of these in the Canadian Plant Disease Survey on stripe rust, smut, and leaf spots of wheat. Upon completion of his MSc, he worked during the later portion of 2016 at the University of Saskatchewan where he identified plant pathogens in field pea that were present in studies conducted by the pulse crop plant physiology lab.

He moved to Guelph, Ontario in 2017 where he worked for the University of Guelph in collaboration with a seed company, Maizex, to determine if Goss’s wilt resistant QTLs were present in any of the commercial maize germplasm being grown in Manitoba. He published several peer reviewed journal articles during this time in Microbial Pathogenesis, on biological control methods for brown rot disease in fruits, as well as two articles on apple scab disease management published in Notulae Scientia Biologicae and Horticulturae.

Dustin moved to Kelowna with his wife and daughter in 2019 and is currently completing a PhD, with a prestigious NSERC-PGSD scholarship. He began working for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries in Kelowna in April 2020 as the Provincial Plant Pathologist focused on tree fruit crops and grapes. The majority of his time was spent working on a CAP project to identify the presence of Little Cherry Virus 1, 2 and Western-X phytoplasma in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Creston Valley regions.

Dustin has one 2-year-old daughter and when not thinking about fungi, bacteria and viruses, he enjoys going hiking with his family.