I have a three-way appointment in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and at Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center covering 10 % teaching, 45% research, and 45% extension. My research program has three foci: 1) plant disease epidemiology, 2) plant-pathogen-microbiome interactions, and 3) autonomous identification of plant diseases in the Piedmont region of Virginia. My extension program mainly addresses needs of field-crop growers and other stakeholders in the region, including conducting field trials to evaluate fungicide efficacy and susceptibility of different varieties to fungal and fungal-like pathogens, providing lab-based disease diagnostic services, and disseminating knowledge on plant pathology and integrated pest management strategies. I will co-instruct Advanced Topics in Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science (PPWS 6004) course starting in Fall Semester 2023.
- Plant Pathology
- Host-microbe interactions
- Data science
- Ph.D. Entomology/Microbiology, Auburn University, 2017
- M.S. Probability and Statistics, Auburn University, 2017
- M.S. Forest Health, Auburn University, 2012
- B.S. Forest Resources Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, 2008
- B.S. minor. Computer Science, Beijing Forestry University, 2007
- Developing field-crop disease forecasting models by integrating multi-comics and environmental sensing technologies
- Harnessing plant-pathogen-microbiome interactions to promote crop health
- Autonomous identification of tobacco diseases using sensor-based robots or unmanned aerial vehicles
- Conducting disease and yield evaluation of corn, soybean, and tobacco varieties
- Testing fungicide efficacy in corn, soybean, and strawberry diseases in Virginia’s Piedmont region
- Offering plant disease diagnostic services to field-crop growers in Virginia’s Piedmont region
- Providing educational services to field-crop growers and other stakeholders in Virginia’s Piedmont region
- PPWS 6004: Advanced Topics in Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science
Assistant Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist | 2022-Present
Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Postdoctoral Researcher | 2017-2022
Department of Agricultural Biology
Colorado State University
Biologist III | 2017
Infectious Diseases & Outbreaks Division
Alabama Department of Public Health
- Professional Development and Travel Award, Colorado State University, 2021
- International Graduate Student Showcase for International Congress of Entomology, Entomological Society of America (ESA), 2016
- Outstanding Ph.D. student, Auburn University, 2015
- Graduate Student Dissertation Fellowship, Auburn University, 2015
- The Alabama Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ALEPSCoR) Graduate Research Scholars Program (GRSP) Round-9 Fellowship, Alabama EPSCoR. 2014
- Second place, President’s Prize, Graduate Student Poster Competition, ESA Annual Meeting, 2014
- James Floyd Googan’s Endowed Fellowship in Forest Biology, Auburn University, 2014
- Outstanding M.S. Student, Auburn University, 2012
- The Drummond Fellowship, Auburn University, 2012
- National Scholarship, Ministry of Education, China, 2007
- Taylor, D, Charkowski, A.O., and Zeng, Y. 2021. Laboratory assays used to rank potato cultivar tolerance to blackleg showed that tuber vacuum infiltration results correlate with field observations. Plant Disease 105(3):585-591.
- Zeng, Y., and Charkowski, A.O. 2021. The role of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters in bacterial phytopathogenesis. Phytopathology 111(4):600-610. (Selected as the Editor’s pick for April 2021)
- Zeng, Y., Fulladolsa, A.C., Cordova, A.M.^, O’Neill, P., Gray, S.M., and Charkowski, A.O. 2020. Evaluation of effects of chemical soil treatments and potato cultivars on Spongospora subterranea soil inoculum and the incidence of powdery scab and potato mop-top virus in potato. Plant Disease 104(11):2807-2816.
- Zeng, Y., Abdo, Z., Charkowski, A.O., Stewart, J.E., and Frost, K. 2019. Responses of bacterial and fungal community structure to different rates of 1,3-dichloropropene fumigation. Phytobiomes Journal 3(3):212-223. (Selected as the Editor’s pick for October 2019)
- Zeng, Y., Fulladolsa, A.C., Houser, A., and Charkowski, A.O. 2019. Colorado seed potato certification data analysis shows mosaic and blackleg are major diseases of seed potato and identifies tolerant potato varieties. Plant Disease 103(2):192-199.
- Zeng, Y., Hu, X.P., Cao, G.Q., and Suh, S. 2018. Hemolymph protein profiles of subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes challenged with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Scientific Reports 8(1):13251.
- Zeng, Y., Hu, X.P., and Suh, S. 2016. Characterization of antibacterial activities of eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, against human pathogens. PLOS One 11(9):e0162249.
- Zeng, Y., Hu, X.P., Yu, X.Q., and Suh, S. 2014. Multiple antibacterial activities of various proteins in crude extracts from the eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar (Blattodea:Isoptera:Rhinotermitidae). Advances in Research 2(8):455-461.
- Zeng, Y., Kidd, K.R., and Eckhardt, L.G. 2013. The effect of thinning and harvesting on root-feeding bark beetle population dynamics in loblolly pine plantations in central Alabama and Georgia. Pest Management Sciences 70(6):915-921.
- Matusick, G., Menard, R.D. Zeng, Y., and Eckhardt, L.G. 2012. Root-inhabiting bark beetles (Coleoptera:Curculionidae) and their fungal associates breeding in dying loblolly pine in Alabama. Florida Entomologist 96(1): 238-241.
- Li, J., Luo, Y.Q., Zeng, Y., Shi, J., Ma, L.Y., Yang, X.H., Wang, Z.J., and Heliövaara, K. 2009. Plant diversity patterns in different forests in Aershan, Inner Mongolia. Forestry Studies in China 11(1):55-60.