- Ph.D., Plant Pathology, Cornell University
- B.S., Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis
One of the goals of the Schmale lab is to understand how microorganisms are transported over long distances in the atmosphere. Members of the Schmale lab have developed technologies with drones to sample microbes tens to hundreds of meters above the surface of the earth. Another goal of the Schmale lab is to develop strategies to detect, monitor, and control mycotoxins (fungal chemicals that are harmful to domestic animals and humans) in feed and food products. Members of the Schmale lab use gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) to detect and quantify mycotoxins in small grains and barley ethanol co-products. Research in the Schmale Laboratory cuts across traditional boundaries of scientific disciplines, blending advanced technologies in the fields of aerobiology, plant pathology, engineering, and molecular genetics.
Current Funded Projects
- Schmale, D.G., Jung, S, and Boreyko, J. $498,708. USDA NIFA. Liberation and Dispersal of Wheat Pathogens by Rain Splash and Jumping-Droplet Condensation. 03/2018 to 0/2021. Principal investigator.
- Tokekar, P., and Schmale, D.G. $900,835. NSF. NRI: Coordinated Detection and Tracking of Hazardous Agents with Aerial and Aquatic Robots to Inform Emergency Responders. 10/2016-9/2019. Co-Principal investigator.
- Peacock, T., Shadden, S., Rypina, I., Lermusiaux, P., Ross, S, Schmale, D., Woolsey, C., Kirincich, A., and Gawarkiewicz, G. $2,677,195. NSF. HAZARDS SEES: Uncovering the hidden skeleton of environmental flows: advanced Lagrangian methods for hazard prediction, mitigation, and response. 9/2015-8/2019. Co-Principal investigator.
- Schmale, D.G. $25,000. Virginia Small Grains Board. FY2018 mycotoxin testing services for Virginia wheat and barley. 07/2018 to 06/2019. Principal investigator. Renewal.
- Schmale, D.G. $183,659. USDA-USWBSI. Diagnostic testing services for deoxynivalenol in the eastern U.S. 06/2017 to 05/2018. Principal investigator. Renewal.
- PPWS 2004: Mysterious Mushrooms, Malicious Molds
- PPWS 5054: Plant Pathogenic Agents
Other Teaching and Advising
I teach a large undergraduate course (>100 students) at Virginia Tech titled ‘Mysterious Mushrooms, Malicious Molds’. The course is an examination of the fungi and their close relatives, with special attention to their roles in the natural world and in shaping the course of human history. Emphasis is placed on the historical and practical significance of fungi as sources of medicine, pathogens of plants and animals, rotters and decayers of organic matter, makers of food and drink, manufacturers of dangerous toxins, and producers of mind-altering chemicals. I received a university-wide undergraduate teaching award (The Sporn Award) and was inducted into the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence in 2010 for this course.
I have created a series of YouTube movies about research in my laboratory. These movies are aimed at attracting students to the fields of engineering and biology.
Professor | 2016-present
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Associate Professor | 2011-2016
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Assistant Professor | 2006-2011
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- CALS Award for Excellence in Basic Research, 2018
- One of the Brilliant Ten, Popular Science Magazine, 2013
- APS Distinguished Service Award, Potomac Division, 2013
- TedX Virginia Tech Speaker, 'Drone-ing for life in the atmosphere', 2013
- Teacher of the Week, CIDER, Virginia Tech, 2011
- Sporn Award, Virginia Tech Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, 2010
- Member, Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence, 2010
- Favorite Faculty Award, Office of Residence Life at Virginia Tech, 2010
- Excellence in Remote Sensing & Precision Ag, Natl Assn of County Ag Agents, 2008
Peer Reviewed Publications in the Last Ten Years
- McMaster, N., Acharya, B., Harich, K., Grothe, J., Mehl, H., and Schmale, D.G. 2019. Quantification of the Mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol (DON) in Sorghum using GC-MS and a Stable Isotope Dilution Assay (SIDA). Food Analytical Methods 12 (10): 2334–2343.
- Creamean, J.M., Cross, J.N., Pickart, R., McRaven, L., Lin, P., Pacini, A., Hanlon, R., Schmale, D.G., Ceniceros, J., Aydell, T., Colombi, N., Bolger, E., DeMott, P.J. 2019. Ice nucleating particles carried from below a phytoplankton bloom to the atmosphere. Geophysical Research Letters 46 (14): 572-8581.
- Schmale, D.G., Ault, A., Saad, A., Scott, D., and Westrick, J. 2019. Perspectives on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and the Cyberbiosecurity of Freshwater Systems. Frontiers Bioengineering Biotechnology, 7:128.
- Nath, S., Gruszewski, H., Budhiraja, S., Ahmadi, S., Bisbano, C., Jung, S., Schmale, D.G., Boreyko, J. 2019. `Sneezing' plants: Pathogen transport via jumping-droplet condensation. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 16 (155).
- Barbieri, L., Kral, S.T., Bailey. S.C.C., Frazier, A.E., et al. 2019. Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in Atmospheric Science: Measurement Intercomparison for LAPSE-RATE. Sensors, 19(9), 2179.
- Garcia, E., Hanlon, R., Makris, M., Powers, C., Jimenez-Sanchez, C., Karatum, O., Marr, L., Sands, C., and Schmale, D.G. 2019. Microbial diversity of individual raindrops collected from simulated and natural and natural precipitation events. Atmospheric Environment, 209:102-111.
- Vasebi, Y., Mechan, M., Hanlon, R., Schmale, D.G., Schnell, R., and Vinatzer, B. 2019. Comprehensive characterization of an Aspen (Populus tremuloides) leaf litter sample that maintained ice nucleation activity for 48 years. Biogeosciences, 16, 1675-1683.
- Kim, S., Park., H., Gruszewski, H., Schmale, D.G. and Jung., S. 2019. Vortex-induced dispersal of a plant pathogen by raindrop impact. PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) 116 (11) 4917-4922.
- Benson, J., Hanlon, R., Seifried, T.M., Baloh, P., Powers, C., Grothe, H. and Schmale, D.G. 2019. Microorganisms collected from the surface of freshwater lakes using a drone water sampling system (DOWSE). Water 11(1), 157.
- Nolan, P.J., Pinto, J., Gonzlez-Rocha, J., Jensen, A., , Vezzi, C.N., Bailey, S.C.C., de Boer, G., Diehl, C., Laurence III, R., Powers, C.W.P., Foroutan, H., Ross, S.D., and Schmale, D.G. 2018. Coordinated Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) and Ground-based Weather Measurements to Predict Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs). Sensors, 18, 4448.
- Felgitsch, L., Baloh, P., Burkart, J., Mayr, M., Momken, M.E., Seifried, T.M., Winkler, P., Schmale III, D.G., and Grothe, H. 2018. Birch leaves and branches as a source of ice-nucleating macromolecules. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 16063-16079.
- Schuerger, A., Smith, D., Griffin, D., Jaffe, D., Wawrik, B., Burrows, S., Christner, B., Gonzalez-Martin, C., Lipp, E., Schmale, D.G., Yu,H. 2018. Science Questions and Knowledge Gaps to Study Microbial Transport and Survival in Asian and African Dust Plumes Reaching North America. Aerobiologia, 1-11.
- Pietsch, R.B., Grothe, H., Hanlon, R., Powers, C.W., Jung, S., Ross, S.D.., and Schmale, D.G. 2018. Wind-driven spume droplet production and the transport of Pseudomonas syringae from aquatic environments. PeerJ. 6:e5663:
- Jimenez-Sanchez, C., Hanlon, R., Aho, K., Powers, C., Morris, C.E., and Schmale, D.G. 2018. Diversity and Ice Nucleation Activity of Microorganisms Collected with a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) in France and the United States. Frontiers in Microbiology 9:1667.
- Wegulo, S.N., Valverde-Bogantes, E., Bolanos-Carriel, C., Hallen-Adams, H., Bianchini, A., McMaster, N., and Schmale, D.G. 2018. First Report of Fusarium boothii Causing Head Blight of Wheat in the United States. Plant Disease.
- Powers, C., Hanlon, R., Grothe, H., Prussin, A.J., Marr, L., and Schmale, D.G. 2018. Coordinated Sampling of Microorganisms over Freshwater and Saltwater Environments using an Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) and a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS). Frontiers in Microbiology, 9:1668.
- Wilson, N., Dashiell, S., McMaster, N., Bohland, C., and Schmale, D. 2018. Could Your Food be Contaminated with Toxins? Educating High School Students about Mycotoxins in Feed and Food Products. The Science Teacher 86 (1): 46-52.
- Powers, C.W., Hanlon, R., and Schmale, D.G. 2018. Tracking of a fluorescent dye in a freshwater lake with an unmanned surface vehicle and an unmanned aircraft system. Remote Sensing,10(1), 81.
- Powers, C.W., Hanlon, R., and Schmale, D.G. 2018. Remote collection of microorganisms at two depths in a freshwater lake using an unmanned surface vehicle (USV). PeerJ. e4290
- Powers, C.W., Predosa, R., Higgins, C., and Schmale, D.G. 2018. Mobile Distributed Temperature Sensing of the Air/Water Interface of an Aquatic Environment with an Unmanned Surface Vehicle. Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, 6(1): 43-56.
- Coluzza, I., Creamean, J., Rossi, M., Wex, H., Alpert, P.A., Bianco, V., Boose, Y., Dellago, C, Felgitsch, L., Fröhlich-Nowoisky, J., Herrmann, H., Jungblut, S., Kanji, Z.A., Menzl, G., Moffett, B., Moritz, C., Mutzel, A., Pöschl, U., Schauperl, M., Scheel, J., Stopelli, E., Stratmann, F., Grothe, H., and Schmale, D.G. 2017. Perspectives on the Future of Ice Nucleation Research: Research Needs and Unanswered Questions. Atmosphere 2017, 8(8): 138.
- Failor, K., Schmale, D.G., Vinatzer, B.A., and Monteil, C.L. 2017. Ice nucleation active bacteria in precipitation are unexpectedly diverse and nucleate ice by employing different mechanisms. The ISME Journal 11, 1331–1344.
- Hanlon, R., Powers, C.W., Failor, K., Monteil, C.L., Vinatzer, B.A., and Schmale, D.G. 2017. Microbial ice nucleators scavenged from the atmosphere during simulated rain events. Atmospheric Environment 163: 182-189.
- Wilson, N., McMaster, N., Gantulga, D., Soyars, C., McCormick, S., Knott, K., Senger, R., and Schmale, D. 2017. Modification of the Mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol Using Microorganisms Isolated from Environmental Samples. Toxins 9(4): 141.
- Pietsch, R.B., Vinatzer, B., and Schmale, D.G. 2017. Diversity and abundance of ice nucleating strains of Pseudomonas syringae in a freshwater lake in Virginia, USA. Frontiers in Microbiology.
- Pietsch, R., Bohland, C., Hanlon, R., and Schmale, D. 2016. Turning Into Ice: Teaching Advanced Secondary School Students about Biological Ice Nucleation and the Global Water Cycle. The Science Teacher 83 (9): 37-43.
- David, R.F., Reinisch, M., Trail, F., Marr, L.C., and Schmale, D.G. 2016. Compression tests of Fusarium graminearum ascocarps provide insights into the strength of the perithecial wall and the quantity of ascospores. Fungal Genetics and Biology 96:25-32.
- Brooks, W.S., M. E. Vaughn, G. L. Berger, C. A. Griffey, W. E. Thomason, R. M. Pitman, S. Malla, J. E. Seago, D. W. Dunaway, E. G. Rucker, H. D. Behl, B. R. Beahm, P.W. Browning, D. G. Schmale, N. McMaster, T. Hardiman, J. T. Custis, D. E. Starner, S. A. Gulick, S. R. Ashburn, E. H. Jones, Jr., D. S. Marshall, M. O. Fountain, T. D. Tuong, M. J. Kurantz, R. A. Moreau, and K. B. Hicks. 2016. Registration of 'Secretariat' Winter Barley. Journal of Plant Registrations 10: 217-222.
- David, R.F., Marr, L.C., and Schmale, D.G. 2016. Ascospore release and discharge distances of the plant pathogen Fusarium graminearum under controlled temperature and relative humidity. European Journal of Plant Pathology 146 (1): 59-69.
- David, R.F., Bozorgmagham, A., Schmale, D.G., Ross, S.D., and Marr, L.C. 2016. Identification of meteorological predictors of Fusarium graminearum ascospore release using correlation and causality analyses. European Journal of Plant Pathology 145 (2): 483-492.
- Adducci, B., Gruszewski, H., Khatibi, P.A., and Schmale, D.G. 2016. Differential Detection of a Surrogate Biological Threat Agent (Bacillus globigii) with a Portable Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensor. Biosensors and Bioelectronics 78: 160-166.
- Bohland, C., Collver, M., Lally, D., and Schmale, D. 2016. Exploring Ethics in Autonomous Systems through Cyborg Roaches and Robotic Insects. The Science Teacher 25-31.
- Bozorgmagham, A., Ross, S.D., and Schmale, D.G. 2015. Local finite time Lyapunov exponent, local sampling, and probabilistic source and destination regions. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 22: 663-677.
- Schmale, D.G., and Ross, S.D. 2015. Highways in the sky: Scales of atmospheric transport of plant pathogens. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 53: 591-61.
- Pietsch, R.B., David, R.F., Marr, L.C., Vinatzer, B.V., and Schmale, D.G. 2015. Aerosolization of two strains of Pseudomonas syringae in a Collison nebulizer at different temperatures. Journal of Aerosol Science and Technology 49:159–166.
- Prussin, A.J., Marr, L.C., Schmale, D.G., and Ross, S.D. 2015. Experimental validation of a long-distance transport model for plant pathogens: Application to Fusarium graminearum. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 203:118-130.
- Palframan, M., Gruszewski, H.A., Schmale, D.G., and Woolsey, C.A. 2014. Detection of a Surrogate Biological Agent with a Portable Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensor Onboard an Unmanned Aircraft System. Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems 2: 103-118.
- Brooks, W.S., Vaughn, M.E., Berger, G.L., Griffey, C.A., Thomason, W.E., Pitman, R.M., Malla, S., Seago, J.E., Dunaway, D.W., Hokanson, E.G., Behl, H.D., Beahm, B.R., Schmale, D.G., McMaster, N., Hardiman, T., Custis, J.T., Starner, D.E., Gulick, S.A., Ashburn, S.R., Jones, E.H., Marshall, D.S., Fountain, M.O., Tuong, T.D., Kurantz, M.J., Moreau, R.A., and Hicks, K.B. 2014. Registration of 'Atlantic' Winter Barley. Journal of Plant Registrations 8: 236-241.
- Lin, B., Ross, S.D., Prussin, A.J., and Schmale, D.G. 2014. Seasonal associations and atmospheric transport distances of fungi in the genus Fusarium collected with unmanned aerial vehicles and ground-based sampling devices. Atmospheric Environment 94: 385-391.
- Khatibi, P.A., Wilson, J., Berger, G., Brooks, W.S., McMaster, N., Griffey, C.A., Hicks, K.B., Nghiem, N.P., and Schmale, D.G. 2014. A comparison of two milling strategies to reduce the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol in barley. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 62 (18):4204–4213.
- Rallos, L.E., Johnson, N.G., Schmale, D.G., Prussin, A.J., and Baudoin, A.B. 2014. Fitness of Erysiphe necator with G143A-based Resistance to Quinone Outside Inhibitors. Plant Disease 98 (11): 1494-1502.
- Berger, G., Green, A., Khatibi, P.A., Brooks, W.S., Rosso, L., Liu, S., Chao, S., Griffey, C.A., and Schmale, D.G. 2014. Characterization of Fusarium head blight resistance and deoxynivalenol accumulation in hulled and hulless winter barley. Plant Disease 98 (5): 599-606.
- Pietsch, R.B., Bohland, C.L., and Schmale, D.G. 2014. To Fly or Not to Fly: Teaching Advanced Secondary School Students about Principles of Flight in Biological Systems. Journal of Biological Education 49:53-63.
- Khatibi, P.A., McMaster, N., Musser, R., and Schmale, D.G. 2014. Survey of Mycotoxins in Corn Distillers' Dried Grains with Solubles from Seventy-Eight Ethanol Plants in Twelve States in the U.S. in 2011. Toxins 6(4): 1155-1168.
- Prussin, A.J., Szanyi, N.A., Welling, P.I., Ross, S.D., and Schmale, D.G. 2014. Estimating the Production and Release of Ascospores from a Field-scale Source of Fusarium graminearum Inoculum. Plant Disease 98 (4): 497-503.
- Prussin, A.J., Ross, S.D., and Schmale, D.G. 2014. Monitoring the long distance transport of Fusarium graminearum from field-scale sources of inoculum. Plant Disease 98(4): 504-511.
- Schroeder, M., Eifert, J., Ponder, M., and Schmale, D.G. 2014. Association of Campylobacter spp. levels between chicken grow-out environmental samples and processed carcasses. Poultry Science 93 (3): 734-741.
- Palframan, M., Gruszewski, H.A., Schmale, D.G., and Woolsey, C.A. 2013. Design and Implementation of Aerobiological Sampling System for Real-Time Detection with a Surface Plasmon Resonance Equipped UAV. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference, Boston, MA, August 19, 2013.
- BozorgMagham, A., Ross, S.D., and Schmale, D.G. 2013. Real-time Prediction of Atmospheric Lagrangian Coherent Structures Based on Uncertain Forecast Data: An Application and Error Analysis. Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena 258: 47-60.
- Liu, S., Griffey, C.A., Hall, M.D., McKendry, A.L., Chen, J.L., Brooks, W.S., Brown-Guedira, G., Van Sanford, D., and Schmale, D.G. 2013. Molecular characterization of field resistance to Fusarium head blight in two US soft red winter wheat cultivars. Theoretical & Applied Genetics 126 (10): 2485-2498.
- Lin, B., Bozorgmagham, A., Ross, S.D., and Schmale, D.G. 2013. Small fluctuations in the recovery of fusaria across consecutive sampling intervals with unmanned aircraft 100 m above ground level. Aerobiologia 29: 45-54.
- Marine, S.C., Schmale III, D.G., and Yoder, K.S. 2012. First report of reduced sensitivity to a QoI fungicide in apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) in Virginia and Maryland. Plant Disease 96:1376.
- Schmale, D. G., Ross, S.D., Fetters, T.L., Tallapragada, P., Wood-Jones, A.K., and Dingus, B. 2012. Isolates of Fusarium graminearum collected 40-320 meters above ground level cause Fusarium head blight in wheat and produce trichothecene mycotoxins. Aerobiologia 28:1-11.
- Khatibi, P.A., Berger, G., Liu, S., Brooks, W.S., Griffey, C.A., and Schmale, D.G. 2012. Resistance to Fusarium head blight and deoxynivalenol accumulation in Virginia barley. Plant Disease 96:279-284.
- Khatibi, P.A., Montanti, J., Nghiem, N.P., Hicks, K.B., Berger, G., Brooks, W.S., Griffey, C.A., and Schmale, D.G. 2011. Conversion of deoxynivalenol in barley derived fuel ethanol co-products with yeast expressing 3-O-acetyltransferases. Biotechnology for Biofuels 4 (26):1-13.
- Tallapragada, P., Ross, S.D., and Schmale, D.G. 2011. Lagrangian coherent structures are associated with fluctuations in airborne microbial populations. Chaos 21:033122-033122-16.
- Keller, M.D, Thomason, W, and Schmale, D.G. 2011. The spread of a released clone of Gibberella zeae from different amounts of infested corn residue. Plant Disease 95:1458-1464.
- Bohland, C.E., Schmale, D.G., and Ross, S.D. 2011. Caging the blob: Using a slime mold to teach concepts about barriers that constrain the movement of organisms. The American Biology Teacher 73:537-541.
- Schmale, D. G., Wood-Jones, A.K., Cowger, C., Bergstrom, G.C., and Arrellano, C. 2011. Trichothecene genotypes of Gibberella zeae from winter wheat fields in the eastern United States. Plant Pathology 60:909-917.
- Khatibi, P. A., Newmister, S., Rayment, I., McCormick, S. P., Alexander, N. J., and Schmale, D. G. 2011. Bioprospecting for trichothecene 3-O-acetyltransferases in the fungal genus Fusarium yields functional enzymes that vary in their ability to modify the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77: 1162-1170.
- Aylor, D. E., Schmale, D. G., Shields, E. J., Newcomb, M., and Nappo, C. J. 2011. Tracking the potato late blight pathogen in the atmosphere using unmanned aerial vehicles and Lagrangian modeling. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 151: 251-260.
- Keller, M. D., Waxman, K. D., Bergstrom, G. C., and Schmale, D. G. 2010. Local distance of wheat spike infection by released clones of Gibberella zeae disseminated from infested corn residue. Plant Disease 94:1151-1155.
- Techy, L., Schmale, D. G., and Woolsey, C. A. 2010. Coordinated aerobiological sampling of a plant pathogen in the lower atmosphere using two autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. Journal of Field Robotics 27:335-343.
- Techy, L., Woolsey, C. A., and Schmale, D. G. 2009. Monitoring the spread of a plant pathogen in the lower atmosphere using unmanned aerial vehicles and a buoyancy-controlled weather balloon. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aerotech Congress and Exhibition. Paper no. 2009-01-3125.
- Schmale, D. G. and Munkvold, G. P. 2009. Mycotoxins in crops: A threat to human and domestic animal health. The Plant Health Instructor Published online. DOI:10.1094/PHI-I-2009-0715-01.
- Scoza, L. B, Astolfi, P., Reartes, D. S., Schmale, D. G., Moraes, M. G., and Del Ponte, E. M. 2009. Trichothecene mycotoxin genotypes of Fusarium graminearum sensu stricto and Fusarium meridionale in wheat from southern Brazil. Plant Pathology 58:344-351.
- Schmale, D. G., Dingus, B. R., and Reinholtz, C. F. 2008. Development and application of an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle for precise aerobiological sampling above agricultural fields. Journal of Field Robotics 25:133-147.
- Techy, L., Woolsey, C. A., and Schmale, D. G. 2008. Path planning for efficient UAV coordination in aerobiological sampling missions. 47th Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Conference on Decision and Control 2814-2819.