Wolfram Köller received his M.S. degree in chemistry from the Philipps- University Marburg (Germany) and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the same institution. From 1982 to 1986, he was a senior research scientist at Bayer AG in Germany. Since 1986, he has been on the faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, where he now holds the rank of professor. Dr. Köller is recognized as a world authority on the development and management of fungicide resistance. He laid the groundwork for research on the general topic of resistance to sterol biosynthesis inhibiting fungicides, developed the first diagnostic test to measure resistance of V. inaequalis to DMI fungicides and subsequently determined the baseline sensitivities of isolates. He measured responses of fungal populations to fungicides including DMIs and dodine after different use periods. It was noticed that sensitivities of individual V. inaequalis isolates to DMI fungicides had no detectable impact on the baseline sensitivity to another, unrelated fungicide. Unexpectedly, however, it was discovered that isolates resistant to a previously employed fungicide were predisposed to an accelerated rate of developing resistance to the new fungicide. This new concept of accelerated mutability has significant implications concerning the future management of resistance to new fungicides.
In addition to his many research accomplishments, Dr. Köller has served APS as an associate editor of Phytopathology and as the founder and first chair of the APS Pathogen Resistance committee.