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Roland W.S. Weber

Honorary professor

Roland W.S. Weber



My current research activities are in horticultural plant pathology. Many of my research topics were initially raised by fruit farmers or their consultants. The main focus is on fungal plant pathogens.

  • biology and management of fungicide resistance in Botrytis spp. causing grey mould in strawberries and other soft fruits
  • infection biology and control of Neonectria ditissima, cause of apple canker
  • biodiversity and relevance of fungi causing sooty blotch of apple in organic production
  • control of fungal storage rots of apple using hot-water technology
  • identity and infection biology of fungi causing new apple diseases such as Phacidiopycnis washingtonensis (rubbery rot) and Diplodia seriata (black rot)

My research background is rooted in whole-organism mycology, covering species of most taxonomic groups and using a wide range of approaches. Past research areas have included

  • physiology and ultrastructure of the lytic system in filamentous fungi
  • the coprophilous fungus succession
  • carotenoid biosynthesis in basidiomycete yeasts
  • ecophysiology of antifungal secondary metabolites in fungi

I have also extensively been involved in mycology teaching, co-authoring the university textbook Introduction to Fungi (Webster & Weber, 2007) and 20 papers on teaching techniques for mycology, as well as co-editing the DVD-ROMs Mycology Vol. 1 and Mycology Vol. 2.



The mission of the Department of Plant Protection and Diagnostics at the Esteburg Centre in Jork (Northern Germany) is to support regional fruit farmers in controlling pests and diseases within the context of Integrated Pest Management. The epicentre of Northern German fruit production is the Altes Land, comprising about 10,000 ha of coherent tree fruit production. As HoD, my key responsibility is to issue up-to-the-hour advisory notes, of which approx. 100 per season are sent to >1000 farmers in the Altes Land and beyond subscribing to the regional consultancy service. All advice is based on results of critical field trials of compounds and treatment strategies conducted within the Altes Land, and on close day-to-day consultation with the regional advisors. In addition, I maintain a diagnostics laboratory focusing on fungal diseases. There are strong interactions also with the advisory service for organic fruit production.


What do I want to achieve at AU FOOD?

Denmark and Northern Germany share a similar climate and similar pathogens. The research facilities at Årslev and Esteburg are complementary and mostly non-overlapping. Therefore, my affiliation to Aarhus University will pursue the following aims:

  • Optimising the use of complementary research resources
  • Co-supervision of PhD students and training of students at all levels
  • Acquisition of financial support for both institutions
  • Supporting advisory services in Denmark and Northern Germany on the premises that advisors must be based in the region, and must have access to regional research results

To view a full list of my publications please click here.


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