Stephen F. Austin State University’s SFA Gardens will host the monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, located at 2900 Raguet St. Dr. Jason A. Smith will present, “Laurel Wilt and Beyond: Emerging Threats to American Trees.”
Smith is associate professor of forest pathology, the co-founder of the Emerging Threats to Forests Research Team and State Forest Health Extension specialist at the University of Florida. The focus of his research program is to provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and biology of interactions between tree hosts, pathogens, their vectors and the environment in order to reduce the impact of disease on trees.
Smith’s current research focuses on phylogeography and pathogenicity of tree pathogens and management of diseases affecting rare, endangered or relict tree species in a changing climate. Smith’s research has recently focused on laurel wilt of redbay and avocado, new oak diseases and re-emerging pine diseases in the Southeastern United States.
In addition to serving as the principal investigator of the Forest Pathology Laboratory, Smith teaches graduate and undergraduate courses and carries out forest health extension activities, including advanced tree diagnostic services. Professionally, he is active in the American Phytopathological Society and American Conifer Society and serves as associate editor of the journal Forest Pathology.
The Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series is held the second Thursday of each month and includes a rare-plant raffle after the program. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations to the Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series fund are always appreciated.
Parking is available at Raguet Elementary School, 2428 Raguet St., with continual shuttle service to the Brundrett Conservation Education Building.
Cutline: Dr. Jason A. Smith, associate professor at the University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation, will be the guest speaker for the SFA Gardens’ monthly Theresa and Les Reeves Lecture Series, slated for 7 p.m. Jan. 12 in the Brundrett Conservation Education Building at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center.