Monique Sakalidis, Ph.D.

Monique Sakalidis

Contact Me


Assistant Professor
Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences



Postdoc, The University of British Columbia, Canada
Ph.D., Murdoch University, Australia
BS (Hons), Murdoch University, Australia

Areas of Expertise:

Tree diseases - detection, identification, pathogenicity, population genetics and management

Research Interests:

Forest pathology, emerging endemic and exotic invasive pathogens, epidemiology, phylogenetics, population genomics, management


My lab uses next-gen tools alongside traditional pathology tools to mitigate and respond to tree diseases (detection, identification, pathogenicity and population analysis) and improve tree health (management). My lab currently focuses on diseases that affect trees in urban and wilderness areas as well as Christmas trees and chestnut orchards. The diseases we currently work on include oak wilt, Caliciopsis canker of eastern white pine, Heterobasidion root disease, spruce decline, Phytophthora and post-harvest diseases of chestnut.

Courses Taught:

  • PLP/ENT/FOR/PLB407 407 Diseases and Insects of Forest and Shade Trees

Sakalidis Lab Website:

To read more about forest pathology at MSU please visit our lab website.

Selected Publications:

  1. Sakalidis, M.L, Medina-Mora, C.M., Shin, K., Fulbright D.W. Characterization of Diaporthe spp. associated with spruce decline on Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) in Michigan. Phytopathology. Published online September 3rd 2020, DOI: 10.1094/PHYTO-08-19-0287-R.
  2. Higgins, D.S., Hatlen, R.J., Byrne, J.M., Sakalidis, M.L., Miles, T.D. and Hausbeck, M.K. Etiology of halo leaf and cone blight in Michigan hopyards. Published online August 25th 2020  DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-05-20-0924-RE.
  3. Demchik, M.C., Sakalidis, M.L., Hillstrom, M., Scanlon, K., Adams, T.A., Minnix, K. 2020. Evaluating regeneration in Heterobasidion Root Disease infested stands in the Lake States. Forest Science. 66(2): 141–144. DOI: 10.1093/forsci/fxz074.
  4. Tabima J.F., Søndreli K.L., Keriö S., Feau N., Sakalidis, M.L., Hamelin R.C., and LeBoldus J.M. 2020. Population genomic analyses reveal connectivity via human-mediated transport across Populus plantations in North America and an undescribed sub-population of Sphaerulina musiva. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 33(2): 189-199. DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-05-19-0131-R. 
  5. Sakalidis, M.L, Medina-Mora, C.M., Kolp, M., Fulbright. D.W. 2019. First report of Gnomoniopsis smithogilvyi causing chestnut brown rot on chestnut fruit in Michigan. Plant Disease. 103(8): 2134. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-03-19-0562-PDN.
  6. Shin, K., Medina-Mora, C, O’Donnell, J., Sakalidis, M.L. 2019. First report of Weir’s cushion rust on Colorado blue spruce caused by Chrysomyxa weirii in Michigan. Plant Disease. 103(5): 1019. DOI:
  7. Feau, N., Beauseigle, S., Bergeron, M-J., Bilodeau, G., Birol, I., Cervantes-Arango, S., Dhillon, B., Dale, A.L., Herath, P., Jones, S., Lamarche, J., Ojeda, D.I., Sakalidis, M.L., Taylor, G., Tsui, C.K.M., Uzunovic, A., Yueh, H., Tanguay, P., Hamelin R.C. 2018. Genome-Enhanced Detection and Identification (GEDI) of plant pathogens. PeerJ. 6:e4392. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4392.
  8. Sakalidis, M.L., Feau, N., Dhillon, B., Hamelin, R.C. 2016. Genetic patterns reveal historical and contemporary dispersal of a tree pathogen. Biological Invasions.  18(6): 1781-1799. DOI: 10.1007/s10530-016-1120-7
  9. Dhillon, B., Feau, N., Aerts, A., Beauseigle, B., Bernier, L., Copeland, A., Foster, A., Navdeep, G., Henrissat, B., Herath, P., LaButti, K., Lindquist, E., Majoor, E., Ohm, R.A., Pangilinan, J., Pribowo, A., Sadler, J., Sakalidis, M. L., de Vries, R.P., Grigoriev, I.V., Goodwin, S.B., Tanguay, P. Hamelin, R.C. 2015. Horizontal gene transfer and gene dosage drives adaptation to wood colonization in a tree pathogen. PNAS. 112: 3451-3456. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1424293112
  10. McGregor, R.R.*, Sakalidis, M. L.*, Hamelin, R.C. 2016. Neofusicoccum arbuti: a latent pathogen characterized by widespread infection, broad host range, and a hidden threat. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 38 (1): 70-81. DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2015.1135476 *co-first authors
  11. Sakalidis, M.L., Slippers, B., Wingfield, B.D., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Burgess, T.I. 2013. The challenge of understanding the origin, pathways and extent of fungal invasions: global populations of the Neofusicoccum parvum- N. ribis species complex. Diversity and Distributions. 19: 873–883. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12030
  12. Sakalidis, M.L., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Burgess, T.I. 2011. Class III endophytes, clandestine movement amongst hosts and habitats and their potential for disease; a focus on Neofusicoccum australe. Australasian Plant Pathology 40, 510-521. DOI: 10.1007/s13313-011-0077-3
  13. Sakalidis, M.L., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Burgess, T.I. 2011. Endophytes as potential pathogens of the baobab species Adansonia gregorii: a focus on the Botryosphaeriaceae. Fungal Ecology 4, 1-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.funeco.2010.06.001
  14. Sakalidis, M.L., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Burgess, T.I. 2011. Use of the Genealogical Sorting Index (GSI) to delineate species boundaries in the Neofusicoccum parvum-Neofusicoccum ribis species complex. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60, 333-344. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2011.04.026
  15. Sakalidis, M.L., Ray, J., Lanoiselet, V., Hardy, G.E.St.J., Burgess, T.I. 2011. Pathogenic Botryosphaeriaceae associated with Mangifera indica in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. European Journal of Plant Pathology 130, 379-391. DOI: 10.1007/s10658-011-9760-z
  16. Burgess T.I., Sakalidis M.L., Hardy, G.E.St.J. 2006. Gene flow of the canker pathogen Botryosphaeria australis between Eucalyptus globulus plantations and native eucalypt forests in Western Australia. Austral Ecology 31, 559-566. DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2006.01596.x