Francesco di Gioia

Francesco Di Gioia (PD/PI) Assistant Professor of Vegetable Crop Science, Department of Plant Science. Contact: Dr. Di Gioia is the Project Director and will provide the overall lead and coordination of this project. He has over 15 years of experience conducting research and extension activities on sustainable and organic vegetable production systems including work on ASD, nutrient management, vegetable grafting, agrobiodiversity, and vegetable quality. Contact:

Kathleen Arrington

Kathleen Arrington (co-PI) Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Pennsylvania State University. Contact: Dr. Arrington will conduct soil sampling and nutrient analyses for Objectives 1 and 2, and coordinate the integration of ASD research into an existing long-term experiment on cover crop monocultures and mixtures.

  Raymond Balaguer, Extension Educator, Urban Agriculture, Pennsylvania State University.

Kathy Demchak

Kathy Demchak (co-PI) Senior Extension Associate, Specialized in Small Fruit and Strawberry Production, Department of Plant Science, Pennsylvania State University. Contact: She will contribute to extension activities related to organic strawberry production and will contribute to examining the impact of ASD on strawberry yield and quality as well as its efficacy in managing soilborne pests and pathogens.  

Johan Desaeger

Johan Desaeger (co-PI) Assistant Professor of  Entomology and Nematology, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Contact: Dr. Desaeger will be responsible for managing the trials at the GCREC in Florida, as well as processing and analyzing nematode samples from other trials in Florida.

Jennie Diehl Mazzone

Jennie Diehl Mazzone, Research Technologist and Assistant Diagnostician, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University. Contact:

Francisco Dini Andreote

Francisco Dini-Andreote (co-PD) Assistant Professor of Phytobiomes, Department of Plant Science, Pennsylvania State University. Contact: He will be leading the efforts on soil microbiome assessments and analyses on ASD trials, and coordinating thef the Data Management Plan.  

Timothy Elkner

Timothy Elkner (co-PI) Extension Educator, Penn State Extension, Lancaster County. Contact: He will contribute to the development of Extension activities to transfer ASD technology to growers in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Thomas Ford

Thomas Ford (co-PI) Extension Educator, Penn State Extension, Cambria County. Contact: He will serve as part of the Extension team to transfer ASD technology to growers in Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

Alice K. Formiga (co-PI) Assistant Professor of Practice, eOrganic Executive Director,  Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University. Contact: She will will coordinate with researchers and Extension educators from Penn State, University of Florida, and USDA-ARS to develop outreach initiatives through the eOrganic platform throughout the entire project.

Leah Fronk

Leah Fronk (co-PI) Extension Educator, Penn State Extension, Juniata County. Contact: She will contribute to the development of Extension activities to transfer ASD technology to growers in Juniata County, Pennsylvania.

Zhifeng Gao

Zhifeng Gao (co-PI) Associate Professor of Marketing, Consumer Behavior and Applied Econometrics, Food and Resource Economics Department, University of Florida. Contact: Dr. Gao will help determine the economic cost and benefit of ASD in organic specialty crop production systems and growers’ perceptions and attitudes toward the adoption of ASD. 

Yvette Goodiel

Yvette A. Goodiel (co-PI) Extension Agent III, UF/IFAS Extension Martin County. Contact: She will will serve on the Advisory Board and bring in stakeholder participation through large scale commercial vegetable producers and urban farmers.  

Beth Gugino

Beth K. Gugino (co-PI) Professor of Vegetable Pathology, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, Pennsylvania State University. Contact: Dr. Gugino will conduct soilborne pathogen trials in PA as proposed in Objective 3 and participate in Extension/outreach efforts as proposed in Objectives 4 and 6. 

Jason Hong

Jason C. Hong (co-PD/co-PI) Research Molecular Biologist / Soil Microbiologist, USDA-ARS, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, Fort Pierce, FL. Contact: jason.hong@usda.govwill oversee the microbial and molecular portions of the experiments in FL and coordinate microbiome work with Dini-Andreote. Hong’s lab will conduct DNA extraction, sequencing, and the resulting data analysis and will assist in the coordination of the FL experiments associated with Obj. 1, 2, and 3. 

Jason Kaye

Jason Kaye (co-PI) Professor of Soil Biogeochemistry, Chair of Ecology Intercollege Graduate Degree Program, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management,  Pennsylvania State University. Contact: Dr. Kaye and Dr. Arrington are working on a long-term experiment testing cover crop monocultures and mixtures, and they will coordinate the integration of the spring ASD research into this project. 

Ben Morrison

Ben Morrison, Research Technologist, Department of Plant Science, Pennsylvania State University. Contact:

Joe Ono-Raphael

Joe Ono-Raphel, PhD Student, Agricultural and Environmental Plant Science, Pennsylvania State University.

Erin Rosskopf

Erin Rosskopf (co-PI) Research Microbiologist, Plant Pathologist and Research Unit Leader, USDA-ARS, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, Fort Pierce, FL. Contact: Dr. Rosskopf will coordinate and establish trials in FL and will work closely with Extension personnel on outreach and stakeholder engagement.  She will conduct pathogen assessments for research and demonstration trials. 

Kate Rotindo

Kate Rotindo (co-PI) Extension Agent I UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County,  Southeast Specialty: Urban Horticulture. Contact: krotindo@ufl.eduShe will will serve on the Advisory Board and bring in stakeholder participation through large scale commercial vegetable producers and urban farmers.  

Claudia Schmidt

Claudia Schmidt (co-PI) Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economy, Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, Pennsylvania State University. Contact: Dr. Schmidt will lead Objective 5 in collaboration with Dr. Gao to determine the economic costs and benefits of ASD.

  Nan Xu, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Florida Department of Horticultural Sciences

Xin Zhao

Xin Zhao (co-PD/co-PI) Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Gainesville, Florida. Contact: Dr. Zhao is the lead for the University of Florida team and will be responsible for carrying out activities planned for Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. She has conducted organic crop production research for more than 17 years with focus on examining integrative management practices and innovative tools such as cover crops, composts, organic fertilizers, protected culture using high tunnels, grafting, and biostimulants for improving crop health, productivity, soil fertility and health, and food quality.