Associate Professor of Biology



Office: LSP332C


2014-present    Associate Professor, Dept of Biology, Franklin & Marshall College

2008-2014          Assistant Professor , Dept of Biology, Franklin & Marshall College                        

2006-2008          Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept of Biology, Amherst College                              

2005-2006          Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept of Plant Pathology, Penn State University         


B.A. with Honors in Biology, Ithaca College
Ph.D. Biology and Astrobiology, Penn State University


Evolutionary genomics of eukaryotes, specifically plant pathogens; molecular phylogenetics; bioinformatics

Grants & Awards

2013: American Phytopathological Society Schroth Faces of the Future Symposium Award

2012: Mycological Society of America Martin-Baker Research Award

2011-2016: USDA-NIFA Oomycete CAP: Integrated management of Oomycete diseases of soybean and other crop plants (Co-PI with 27 others)

2010-2013: USDA-AFRI Microbial Functional Genomics: Education in genomics-based microbial forensics (Co-PI with 6 others).


Recent Publications (*student co-author):

Hyde KD, Nilsson RH, Alias SA, Ariyawansa HA, Blair JE et al. 2014. One stop shop: backbone trees for important phytopathogenic genera: I (2014). Fungal Diversity 67(1): 21-125.

Matari NH*, Blair JE. 2014. A multilocus timescale for oomycete evolution estimated under three distinct molecular clock models. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14: 101.

Martin FM, Blair JE, Coffey MD. 2014. A combined mitochondrial and nuclear multilocus phylogeny of the genus Phytophthora. Fungal Genetics & Biology 66: 19-32. 

Heyman F, Blair JE, Persson L, Wikstrom M. 2013. Root rot of pea and faba bean in southern Sweden caused by Phytophthora pisi, sp. nov. Plant Disease 97(4): 462-471.

Blair JE, Coffey MD, Martin FN. 2012. Species tree estimation for the late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, and close relatives. PLoS ONE 7(5): e37003.

Kang S, Mansfield MA, Park B, Geiser DM, Ivors KL, Coffey MD, Grünwald NJ, Martin FM, Levesque AA, Blair JE. 2010. The promise and pitfalls of sequence-based identification of plant pathogenic fungi and fungus-like organisms. Phytopathology 100(8): 732-737.

Blair JE. 2009. Fungi. In The Timetree of Life (eds. Hedges SB, Kumar S), pp. 213-220. Oxford University Press.

Balci Y, Balci S, Blair JE, Park S-Y, Kang S, MacDonald WL. 2008. Phytophthora quercetorum sp. nov., a novel species isolated from eastern and north-central US oak forests. Mycological Research 112(8): 906-916.

Blair JE, Coffey MD, Park S-Y, Geiser DM, Kang S. 2008. A multi-locus phylogeny for Phytophthora utilizing markers derived from complete genome sequences. Fungal Genetics and Biology 45(3): 266-277.

Park J, Park B, Veeraraghavan N, Jung K, Lee Y-H, Blair JE, Geiser DM, Isard S, Mansfield MA, Nikolaeva E, Park S-Y, Russo J, Kim SH, Greene M, Ivors KL, Balci Y, Peiman M, Erwin DC, Coffey MD, Rossman A, Farr D, Cline E, Grunwald NJ, Luster DG, Schrandt J, Martin F, Ribeiro OK, Makalowska I, Kang S. 2008. Phytophthora Database: a forensic database supporting the identification and monitoring of Phytophthora. Plant Disease 92(6): 966-972.


2013 (*student co-author)

JE Blair. Schroth Faces of the Future Symposium: Measuring oomycete biodiversity in aquatic, forest, and agricultural ecosystems: Culture-based and metagenomic approaches.
American Phytopathological Society/Mycological Society of America Annual Meeting, Austin, TX  

LS Coffua*, ST Veterano*, and JE Blair. Biodiversity and potential pathogenicity of field collected oomycetes from asymptomatic soybeans in southeastern PA.
American Phytopathological Society/Mycological Society of America Annual Meeting, Austin, TX


Student Collaborations

Current Lab Members:

Hanna Aharonov '16
Patricia Crigler '16
Sara Lobdell '16

Course Information

Biology 305: Genetics

Biology 313: Introduction to Genome Analysis

Biology 37X: Pathogen Biology & Genomics

FND 178: Believing Science in the Information Age

Check out our Lab Website