Dr. Judith K. Brown

Professor, School of Plant Sciences
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA jbrown@ag.arizona.edu

Dr. Brown is a world authority on emerging whitefly-transmitted viruses and whitefly vector mitotypes/cryptic species relationships responsible in disease spread, and continues to work in understanding the dynamics of emergent begomoviruses of cotton-vegetable systems e.g. host-shifting, recombination, reassortment using next generation ‘discovery’ DNA sequencing- bioinformatics, providing support to cotton breeders in Pakistan in the development/characterization of high-level disease tolerance in differentially-resistant genotypes. In addition, two other major current international research involve the emerging pathogen-vector complexes associated with Cacao swollen shoot disease caused by a mealybug-transmitted badnavirus causing enormous losses to cacao in West Africa, and dsRNA biopesticides to control citrus greening disease caused by psyllid-transmitted obligate Liberibacter spp. Recently she reported the exotic Cotton leafroll dwarf virus, endemic to Africa-Asia in the Gulf Coast cotton growing states (2017 introduction) using RNAseq discovery approaches, and co-identified Cotton leaf curl Gezira virus in okra plants in Texas (2019), respectively, the latter contributions made possible because of what was learned in previous international research projects focusing on cotton-infecting viruses in Africa and Asia with international collaborators. She has visited, lectured, and studied emerging diseases in more than 65 countries, and carries out collaborative research in Asia (China, India, Pakistan), East and West Africa, the Middle East-Arabian Peninsula (Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen) and American Tropics (Mexico, Central and South American countries). Her laboratory has hosted over 60 visiting scholars or graduate students from 30+ countries on fellowships from home country universities or ministries, Borlaug, Fulbright, Humphrey fellowship programs, the Higher Education Commission-Pakistan, and Indo-US Science and TechForum, among others.