Jon Detka

Joined: Dec 20, 2018 Last Active: Jun 17, 2022 iNaturalist

Hi fellow iNaturalists,
I am an avid outdoorist and life long learner. I am fairly new to the iNaturalist community (Joined Dec 20, 2018) and absolutely thrilled with all the great posts, forums, and journal entries. I am extremely excited at the prospect of using your posts to answer meaningful conservation and land management questions related to the management of emerging plant disease epidemics in native plant communities.

I have been a lecturer (CSU Monterey Bay) , consulting biologist, and native plant restorationist in the Monterey Bay region for a little over 15 years. I recently made the decision to pursue a PhD in Environmental Studies at UCSC and it has been an amazing opportunity for me to continue developing my ecological knowledge and analytical skills. The interdisciplinary nature of the ENVS program, and its diverse faculty, align perfectly with my interests.

As a graduate student in Dr. Gregory Gilbert’s Lab I am exploring the ecological and sociological dimensions of managing fungal pathogens. The ecological facet of my research aims to expand our understanding of complex interactions between coastal shrub hosts and endemic leaf fungal pathogens. I am interested in how host-pathogen interactions respond to changes in fog exposure and drought along the California coastline. The differential response of plant hosts and fungal pathogens to a changing climate may affect a communities’ resilience to disturbance and future distribution. The social facet of my research explores the role of crowdsourced observations to make predictions and communities of practice related to plant disease monitoring and management.

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