How does global trade in plants drive evolution in their pathogens?

When plants are moved, their associates move with them, amounting to a world-wide experiment in new species interactions. They are at their most visible when pathogens are released in host communities with little resistance, resulting in devastating disease epidemics, and a major threat to world biodiversity. My research centres on the evolutionary changes that may drive or be driven by new host-microbe associations, and on appropriate management responses.

There are opportunities open in my lab for honours, masters, and doctoral students interested in combining field-based mycology and forest pathology with ecological and epidemiological modelling.


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh | 20A Inverleith Row | Edinburgh EH5 2EG | Scotland | UK

+44 131 248 2914



I came to RBGE after an AgreenSkills postdoctoral fellowship working with the Tree-Microbe Interactions Group at INRA Nancy, and postdoctoral and doctoral work in the Forest Pathology & Mycology Lab at UC Berkeley. My first experiences in the intersection of plant and fungal ecology were with the Parker and Gilbert Labs, as an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz.

Member, 2016 Scottish Crucible, the British Mycological Society and the Fungus Group of South East Scotland


What to do about Hymenoscyphus fraxineus? The Scotsman, 13 June 2016


  • Becheler, R., Xhaard, C., Klein, E., Hayden, K., Frey, P., De Mita, S., Halkett, P. (in press) Genetic signatures of a range expansion in natura: when clones play leapfrog. Ecology and Evolution.
  • Desprez-Loustau, M.-L., Aguayo, J., Dutech, C., Hayden, K.J., Husson C., Jakushkin B., Marçais B., Piou, D., Robin, C., Vacher, C. 2015. An evolutionary ecology perspective to address forest pathology challenges of today and tomorrow. Annals of Forest Science. doi:10.1007/s13595-015-0487-4
  • Hayden, K.J., Garbelotto, M., Knaus, B.J., Cronn, R.C., Rai, H., and Wright, J.W. 2014. Dual RNA-seq of the plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum and its tanoak host. Tree Genetics & Genomes 10, 489–502.
  • Eyre, C.A., Hayden, K.J., Kozanitas, M., Grünwald, N.J., and Garbelotto, M. 2014. Lineage, temperature, and host species have interacting effects on lesion development in Phytophthora ramorum. Plant Disease 98, 1717–1727.
  • Hayden, K.J., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Garbelotto, M. Oomycete Diseases. 2013. In: Gonthier, P., Nicoletti, G. (Eds.), Infectious Forest Diseases, CABI, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Hayden, K.J., Garbelotto, M., Dodd, D., Wright, J.W. 2013. Scaling up from greenhouse to field resistance to an introduced forest disease reveals the potential for evolution and management. Evolutionary Applications doi:10.1111/eva.12080
  • Cobb, R., Metz, M., Frangioso, K, Garbelotto, M., Hayden, K.J., Rizzo, M. 2013. Biodiversity conservation in the face of dramatic forest disease: an integrated conservation strategy for tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) threatened by sudden oak death. Madroño 60: 151-164. doi: 10.3120/0024-9637-60.2.151
  • Garbelotto, M. and Hayden, K.J. 2012. Sudden Oak Death: interactions of the exotic oomycetePhytophthora ramorum with naïve North American hosts. Eukaryotic Cell doi: 10.1128/EC.00195-12
  • Osmundson, T., Eyre, C., Hayden, K., Dhillon, J., Garbelotto, M. 2013 Back to basics: An evaluation of NaOH and alternative rapid DNA extraction protocols for DNA barcoding, genotyping, and disease diagnostics from fungal and oomycete samples. Molecular Ecology Resources 13: 66-74 doi:10.1111/1755-0998.12031
  • Hayden, K.J., Nettel, A., Dodd, R., Garbelotto, M. 2011. Will all the trees fall? Variable resistance to an introduced forest disease in a highly susceptible host. Forest Ecology and Management 261: 1781-1791 doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2011.01.042
  • Hüberli, D., Hayden, K.J., Calver, M., Garbelotto, M. 2011. Intraspecific variation in host susceptibility and climatic factors mediate the progression of sudden oak death in US woodlands.Plant Pathology doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2011.02535.x
  • Hayden, K.J., Ivors, K., Wilkinson, C., Garbelotto, M. 2006. TaqMan chemistry for Phytophthora ramorum detection and quantification, with a comparison of diagnostic methods. Phytopathology 96: 846-854 doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-96-0846
  • Swain, S., Harnik, T., Mejia-Chang, M., Hayden, K., Bakx, W., Creque, J., Garbelotto, M. 2006. Composting is an effective treatment option for sanitization of Phytophthora ramorum-infected plant material. Journal of Applied Microbiology 101: 815-827 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2006.03008.x
  • Hayden, K.J., Rizzo, D., Tse, J., Garbelotto, M. 2004. Detection and quantification of Phytophthora ramorum from California forests using a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. Phytopathology 94: 1075-1083 doi: 10.1094/PHYTO.2004.94.10.1075
  • Ivors, K.L., Hayden, K.J., Bonants, P.J.M., Rizzo, D.M., Garbelotto, M. 2004. AFLP and phylogenetic analyses of North America and European populations of Phytophthora ramorum. Plant Disease 89: 204 doi: 0.1017/S0953756204009827
  • Hayden, K.J., Parker, I.M. 2002. Plasticity in cyanogenesis of Trifolium repens L: Inducibility, fitness costs, and variable expression. Evolutionary Ecological Research 4: 155-168
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