Research assistant professor in astrobiology and plant pathology University of Florida
After studying microbiology and plant pathology for his Ph.D., Andrew Schuerger worked for 18 years at The Land, a hydroponic research and education facility at Epcot Center, developing disease management programs for vegetable and agronomic crops. He has published extensively on plant-pathogen interactions in semi-closed plant growing systems, the survival of terrestrial microorganisms under Martian conditions, and the microbial ecology of human missions to Mars. Since joining the U.F. plant pathology faculty in 2003, he has been studying the effects of the surface environment on the survival, growth, and adaptation of terrestrial microorganisms on Mars. He also has continued research into the use of remote sensing technologies to detect and classify plant pathogens present in hydroponic plant production systems.