609-726-1590, ext. 4420
Peter is Director at the Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center. He is a professor in the Department of Plant Biology at Rutgers University. His program at Rutgers is divided between research, extension and teaching.
Peter Oudemans leads the small fruit pathology program, which focuses on the development of methodologies to reduce the impact of plant disease and improve fruit quality. Small fruit are vulnerable to a range of biotic and abiotic factors and the goals of the program are to develop methodologies aimed at crop protection with reduced environmental impacts.
His recent accomplishments include ground-breaking work on the biology and control of fungal diseases such as blueberry anthracnose, cranberry fruit rot, fairy ring disease, mummy berry and Phytophthora root rot. Several novel diseases such as the sooty blotch/fly speck complex, Mycosphaerella leaf spot, and cranberry funky flower are at various stages of investigation. The primary strategy in this program is to increase understanding of the life history and yield impacts of the various diseases and develop biologically-based controls that can be implemented by commercial growers.
The overheating of cranberry fruit has recently begun to have a major impact on fruit quality and new technologies to reduce the impact of solar radiation on the fruit are being investigated.
Oudemans’ research has also made significant strides through the use of remote sensing for detecting, mapping and understanding the impact of plant disease on these important New Jersey fruit crops.