Christopher C. Mundt
Dr. Christopher C. Mundt was born in New Jersey. He received his B.S. in plant science with honors from Cornell University. He completed an M.S. in plant pathology at Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in plant pathology at North Carolina State University. Dr. Mundt joined the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University in 1985 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1990. Since 1992, he has also been a visiting scientist at the International Rice Research Institute, where he spends several weeks per year doing collaborative research.
During his career, Dr. Mundt has developed an international reputation for his contributions to the understanding of genetics and host plant resistance. His research focuses on the quantitative analysis of the effects of host plant resistance on the epidemiology of plant disease and the population genetics of plant pathogens. He was recently described by a senior colleague as being the world leader in experimentation to determine the ecological and evolutionary effects of crop mixtures on plant-pathogen interactions. He has developed a firm scientific foundation on how disease control can be achieved through cultivar mixtures. From a methodological perspective, he has shown how one can study co-evolution in a systematic and controlled manner using economically important organisms. From a basic research perspective, he has demonstrated the complicated functional relationships that exist between the pathogen and host populations. From an applied perspective, he has shown how mixtures can be best used in production agriculture for disease control.
His research is funded by a combination of grants, and his ability to attract funding from such diverse sources as the Oregon Wheat Commission, NSF, and the USDA-NRI program speaks for the excellent balance between basic and applied research that he has developed in his program.
Dr. Mundt has a reputation as an outstanding teacher and excellent mentor. He has made important contributions to the training of graduate students and post-doctoral scientists both at Oregon State University and at IRRI.
Dr. Mundt has made additional contributions to plant pathology through his service to our profession as a reviewer for manuscripts, grants, and in membership on committees for both APS and the International Society for Plant Pathology. Dr. Mundt has made an important contribution to international agriculture through his work with the APS Office of International Programs. While on that board, he authored a resolution on World Population/Hunger that was adopted by APS in 1996. His editorial in Phytopathology News in 1992 made a key contribution to convincing plant pathologists of the need to address world population growth to prevent hunger.