Dr. Jonathan Oliver is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Georgia. Dr. Oliver grew up near Palatka, Florida. He attended the University of Florida for his undergraduate degree in Plant Pathology and Microbiology & Cell Science, and received a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Cornell University. After completing his doctorate, Oliver worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Auburn University for two and a half years and at Kansas State University for three years.
During his dissertation work at Cornell University, Oliver studied the diversity of viral pathogens of grapevines and cherries, and as a postdoctoral researcher at Auburn University, he characterized the interactions between the emerging bacterial pathogen, Xylella fastidiosa, and its blueberry plant hosts. Most recently, as a postdoctoral researcher at Kansas State University, he studied western flower thrips and Tomato spotted wilt virus resistance in tomato.
Oliver started in his current position at the University of Georgia in mid-2017 as a small fruit pathologist at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia. In this position, he has research and extension responsibilities focused on diseases affecting emerging fruit crops in southern Georgia including blueberries, blackberries, citrus and other fruits. His current projects focus on pathogen biology and disease management of orange cane blotch of blackberry, cane blight of blackberry and bacterial leaf scorch of blueberry, among other disease issues.
One interesting fact about Dr. Oliver is that he has had the opportunity to visit 47 of the 50 states – and still hopes to make it to New Mexico, Nevada, and Alaska someday. His car has been in 31 states (plus Canada and Washington D.C.) with him but probably won’t make it to Alaska.