Photo of Rabiu Olatinwo

Rabiu Olatinwo

Research Plant Pathologist
2500 Shreveport Highway
Pineville, LA 71360-4046
Phone: 318-473-7236
rabiu.o.olatinwo@usda.gov

Current Research

1. Diversity of fungal symbionts associated with native and nonnative pests.
2. Early detection and the impact of diseases of forest trees.
3. Exploring biological control options for managing bark beetles.
4. Understanding the insect-microbial associations and insect-pathogen disease complexes.

Research Interests

1. Diversity of fungal symbionts associated with native and nonnative pests.
In recent years, several diseases caused by pathogens vectored by exotic invasive insect pests have been threatening southeastern forest ecosystems, creating concerns about potential forest health impact. My research interests include developing genetic detection method that will facilitate early detection and enable monitoring of non-native insect pest and diseases within and across regions.

2. Early detection and the impact of diseases of forest trees.
Current research focuses on early detection methods for laurel wilt disease of laureceae caused by the pathogenic fungus Raffaelea lauricola, vectored by the nonnative redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). Research include genetic identification of laurel wilt pathogen and a better understanding of the epidemiology of the disease on sassafras. The goal of this research is to provide public and private land managers with dependable early detection resource to facilitate management decisions.

3. Exploring biological control options for managing bark beetles.
To prevent threats to public and private forests from bark beetles, my research interests include exploring biological control option in protecting pines from colonization and damage by bark beetles and other native insects through a better understanding of the ecology, biology, and available management options.

4. Understanding the insect-microbial associations and insect-pathogen disease complexes.
To address concerns about declining health of trees such as sugarberry around Columbia, South Carolina showing yellowing leaves and defoliation symptoms on affected trees, we are currently investigation insect-microbial species associated with some of the affected trees through multidisciplinary research efforts.

Education

Ph.D. Plant Pathology in Plant Pathology, 1998
The University of Reading, United Kingdom
M.S. Crop Protection in Crop Protection, 1994
The University of Bristol, United Kingdom
B.S. Botany in Botany, 1990
Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria

Featured Publications and Products

Publications

Research Highlights

Laurel Wilt Disease Transmitted by Non-native Beetle Found in Arkansas (2016)
SRS-2016-175 Laurel wilt has spread rapidly across the southeastern states causing extensive mortality, primarily in redbay. Forest Service scientists and cooperators recently identified and confirmed the first report of laurel wilt on sassafras in Arkansas, following mortality of several sassafras trees in Bradley County near Warren, Arkansas.