User:G. Kai Blaisdell

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Contact Info


  • Kai Blaisdell
  • Department of Biology
  • Los Medanos College
  • Pittsburg, CA 94565
  • KBlaisdell at losmedanos dot edu

  • I am a part-time instructional faculty member at Los Medanos College.


  • I was a postdoctoral scholar, first in the research group of Dr.Rodrigo Almeida, then in the research group of Dr. Kent Daane, at the University of California, Berkeley.

[[2]] [[3]]


  • 2011, PhD, University of Oregon
  • 2010, MS, University of Oregon
  • 1997, BS, Cornell University


Instructor. Los Medanos College, Pittsburg, California

  • Principles of Biology: Cellular Processes BIOSC 020
  • General Biology BIOSC 010
  • Spring 2017. Principles of Biology: Organismal BIOSC 021

Guest lecturer. 2006-2016. Los Medanos College, University of California Berkeley, and University of Oregon:

  • Alternate Hosts. UO-BI 410/510 Evolution of Infectious Disease
  • Entomophthora. UO-BI 432/532 Mycology
  • Life Tables. UO-BI 370 Ecology
  • Virus transmission and ecology. UCB-Environ Sci, Policy, and Management 209 Pathogen and Disease Ecology
  • Patterns of virus transmission. UCB-Environ Sci, Policy, and Management 112 Microbial Ecology
  • Animal Anatomy and Dissections. LMC-BIOSC 021 Organismal Biology
  • Endocrine System. LMC-BIOSC 030 Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology

NSF GK-12 fellow. 2009-2011. Desert View Elementary School and Hermiston High School, Hermiston, OR, and Echo School District, Echo, OR: Courses:

  • Leading students through an inquiry-based work sample in physical science: Teacher’s Workshop
  • Wood and Paper: Kindergarten
  • Balance and Motion: First Grade
  • Solids and Liquids: Second Grade
  • Physics of Sound: Third Grade
  • Magnetism and Electricity: Fourth Grade
  • Mixtures and Solutions: Fifth Grade

Graduate teaching fellow. 2005-2009. University of Oregon: Courses:

  • General Biology I: Cell Biology, BI 211
  • General Biology II: Organismal Biology, BI 212
  • General Biology III: Populations, BI 213
  • Introduction to Ecology, BI 130
  • Ecology, BI 370
  • Animal Behavior, BI 390
  • Mycology, BI 432/532

  • Undergraduate honors thesis students mentored. 2009-2015. University of California Berkeley and University of Oregon:
  • Hannah Oh. 2015. Effects of nutrient availability on plant susceptibility and symptom severity
  • Megan Fu. 2015. Host water stress effects on mealybug vector preference and survivorship
  • Jennifer Bratburd. 2014. The effect of water stress on vector transmission of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus
  • Siming Zhang. 2012. Vine mealybug transmission of Grapevine Leafroll-associated Virus 3 strains and Grapevine Virus A from plants infected with multiple viruses
  • Hannah Wilson. 2009. Identification and cross- inoculation of fungal leaf pathogens on native and introduced grass species of North America

Research interests

  • I am interested in the interplay between pathogens, introduced species, and plant communities. Education, mentoring, and outreach have always been central to my research. I hope to lessen the gap between scientists and non-scientists by enhancing clear communication between science and other arenas.
  • My postdoctoral research addresses fundamental questions about the ecology of emerging vector-borne viruses of plants. Specifically, I study the effects of host plant water status, vector species, vector behavior, and virus species or genetic variant on virus transmission and establishment in susceptible hosts. I work with economically damaging vector-borne viruses of grapes and their insect vectors, some of which are recently introduced and invasive.
  • For my dissertation at the University of Oregon, I studied plant community ecology, invasions by introduced species, and the roles that herbivores and pathogens play in those invasions. I worked with the City of Eugene Parks and Open Spaces Field Operations Group, both for planning and dissemination of my research.


  • Blaisdell, G. K., M. L. Cooper, E. J. Kuhn, K. Taylor, K. M. Daane, and R. P. P. Almeida. 2016. Disease progression of vector-mediated Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3 infection of mature plants under commercial field conditions. European Journal of Plant Pathology. 146:105-116.
  • Wistrom, C. M., G. K. Blaisdell, L. R. Wunderlich, M. Botton, R. P. P. Almeida, and K. M. Daane. 2016. No transmission of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses by phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae) in greenhouse transmission experiments. European Journal of Plant Pathology. doi:10.1007/s10658-016-1049-9.
  • Wistrom, C. M., G. K. Blaisdell, L. R. Wunderlich, R. P. P. Almeida, and K. M. Daane. 2016. Ferrisia gilli (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) transmits grapevine leafroll-associated viruses. Journal of Economic Entomology. 109:1519-1523.
  • Blaisdell, G. K., S. Zhang, J. Bratburd, K. M. Daane, M. L. Cooper, R. P. P. Almeida. 2015. Interactions in susceptible host drive transmission of genetically distinct pathogen variants. Journal of Economic Entomology.
  • Blaisdell, G. K., B. A. Roy, L. E. Pfeifer-Meister, and S. D. Bridgham. 2015. An exploration of hypotheses that explain herbivore and pathogen attack in restored plant communities. PLoS ONE. 10:e0116650.
  • Sharma, M., B. Baraff, J. Hutchins, M. K. Wong, G. K. Blaisdell, M. L. Cooper, K. M. Daane, R. P. P. Almeida. 2015. Relative prevalence of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses in wine-grape regions of California. PLoS ONE.
  • Blaisdell, G. K., and B. A. Roy. 2014. Two tests of enemy release of commonly co-occurring bunchgrasses native in Europe and introduced in the United States. Biological Invasions 16:833–842.
  • Wilson, H. E., G. C. Carroll, B. A. Roy, and G. K. Blaisdell. 2014. Tall fescue is a potential spillover reservoir host for Alternaria species. Mycologia 106:22–31.
  • Almeida, R. P. P., K. M. Daane, V. A. Bell, G. K. Blaisdell, M. L. Cooper, E. Herrbach, and G. Pietersen. 2013. Ecology and management of grapevine leafroll disease. Frontiers in Microbiology 4:94.
  • Roy, B. A., T. Coulson, W. Blaser, T. Policha, J. L. Stewart, G. K. Blaisdell, and S. Güsewell. 2011. Population regulation by enemies of the grass Brachypodium sylvaticum: demography in native and invaded ranges. Ecology 92:665–675.
  • Garrett, K. A., S. P. Dendy, A. G. Power, G. K. Blaisdell, H. M. Alexander, and J. K. McCarron. 2004. Barley yellow dwarf disease in natural populations of dominant tallgrass prairie species in Kansas. Plant Disease 88:574–574.
  • Retzlaff, W. A., G. K. Blaisdell, and M. A. Topa. 2001. Seasonal changes in water source of four families of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.). Trees-Structure and Function 15:154–162.

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