Dr. Rachel Brooks
Dr. Rachel Brooks graduated from Virginia Tech with a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences in May 2020. Rachel is now a Forest Health Scientist with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources based out of Olympia, WA. In this position she helps monitor, research, and provide technical assistance regarding forest pathology problems throughout the state.
Rachel obtained her Ph.D. working with Dr. Scott Salom and Dr. Anton Baudoin studying how the invasive Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) can be controlled using naturally occurring fungi (Verticillium nonalfalfae and V. dahliae). This work supports ongoing efforts to register V. nonalfalfae with the USEPA as a biopesticide.
Prior to graduate school, Rachel obtained a Bachelors of Science at the University of Vermont in environmental science before spending five-years testing out different seasonal positions throughout the US. It was while working as a contractor with Dr. Salom collecting hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) and their beetle predators that graduate school at Virginia Tech became an option.