Jennifer completed her BSc degree in Agriculture majoring in Plant Pathology from University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and her MSc degree in Plant Pathology from Washington State University, USA.
Before coming to CSU, she has been working as University Researcher in UPLB studying the diversity of macrofungi in Philippine forests and small islands. Prior to that, she was employed for two years at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as a mycotoxin specialist assessing the extent of mycotoxin contamination in rice in the Philippines and in Myanmar, evaluating mycotoxin detection techniques using various commercially available ELISA kits and immunochromatography-based methods and developing different mycotoxin reduction strategy. She has also worked as University Research Associate at UPLB working on different research projects concerning fungal and bacterial diseases of agricultural crops before and after harvest. In a CDR-USAID funded collaborative project between UPLB and Volcani Center, Israel, she spent 2 years in Israel working on a research project comparing pectolytic and cellulolytic gene expressions in apple cultivars that differ in their susceptibility to Alternaria alternata, causal agent of apple core rot.
She commenced her PhD studies at Charles Sturt University in July 2016 under the CSUPRS Scholarship and is also a recipient of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) top-up scholarship.
Specialization: Plant pathology
Focus area: Biological control of grapevine trunk diseases
Grapevine trunk diseases are considered a serious problem of grapevines worldwide. Eutypa dieback and Botryosphaeria dieback are among the top five priority diseases of the Australian wine grape industry. Current management of these diseases is through remedial surgery and fungicide treatments of pruning wounds. However, registered fungicides are limited and some only offer short term protection.
Preliminary studies in our laboratory revealed some endophytic microorganisms including Pseudomonas spp. that inhibit the growth of some Eutypa and Botryosphaeria dieback pathogens.
This study aims to characterise the microbiome associated with grapevine wood and to assess their biocontrol potential including Pseudomonas spp. against grapevine trunk disease pathogens. The mechanisms of action involved in the control of the chosen trunk disease pathogens will be elucidated thru laboratory assays and use of molecular-based techniques targeting specific gene markers. Furthermore, the ability of the biocontrol agent to suppress trunk diseases in planta will also be evaluated.
Niem, J.M. and Baldovino, M.M. 2015. Initial Checklist of Macrofungi in the Karst Area of Cavinti, Laguna. Mus. Pub. Nat. His. Vol. 4: 55-61.
Inglis, D., Gundersen, B., Niem, J., and Morse, J. 2013. Field Flooding for Controlling Soilborne Potato Pathogens in Western Washington. Washington State University Extension. EM056E. Published online on Oct 2013 at http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/EM056E/EM056E.pdf
Niem, J., Gundersen, B., and Inglis, D. A. 2013. Effects of Soil Flooding on the Survival of Two Potato Pathogens, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Verticillium dahliae. American Journal of Potato Research. 90 (6): 578-590.
Niem, J., I. Miyara, Y. Ettedgui, M. Reuveni, M. Flaishman, and D. Prusky. 2007. Core rot Development in Red Delicious Apples Is Affected by Susceptibility of the Seed Locule to Alternaria alternata Colonization. Phytopathology 97 (11): 1415-1421.