Susanna Kerio


Department of Environmental Science and Forestry 

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

123 Huntington Street

New Haven, CT 06511


Voice: (203) 974-8491



Dr. Susanna Keriö is a forest pathologist and a forest ecologist with expertise in disease resistance of trees to fungal pathogens, and the molecular and genetic factors associated with tree-fungus interaction and tree stress responses. Her current research focuses on tree-fungal interactions, tree stress signatures, and their applications in tree care.



D.Sc. Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki (Forest Ecology) 2016

M.Sc. Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki (Forest Ecology and Biotechnology) 2010

B.Sc. Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki (Forest Ecology and Forest Resource Science) 2009


Station Career:

Assistant Agricultural Scientist II, Department of Forestry and Horticulture, 2020-present


Past Research:

Dr. Keriö’s doctorate research at the University of Helsinki focused on the transcriptional and chemical defense responses of Norway spruce and Scots pine to the Heterobasidion root rot pathogens. In her postdoctorate at the Oregon State University, Dr. Keriö’s research aimed at identifying genetic variation in Populus trichocarpa associated with resistance to the Septoria leaf spot and stem canker pathogen Sphaerulina musiva


Current Research:

Dr. Keriö’s current research in CAES aims at applying the information of molecular, chemical, and cellular stress signatures to develop management strategies to reduce tree stress and to support tree health in urban environments. Dr. Keriö’s current projects include: ecophysiological and molecular markers associated with tree stress, role of metallic nanoparticles in tree-fungal interactions and potential applications in urban tree care, and tissue culture and somatic embryogenesis techniques in American chestnut and other hardwood tree species.


Selected publications available from the author,

Søndreli, K. L., Keriö, S., Frost, K., Muchero, W., Chen, J. G., Haiby, K., Gantz, C., Tuskan, G., and LeBoldus, J. M. (2020).  An outbreak of Septoria canker caused by Sphaerulina musiva on Populus trichocarpa in eastern Oregon. Plant Disease. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-03-20-0494-PDN.

Jyske, T., Kuroda, K., Keriö, S., Pranovich, A., Linnakoski, R., Hayashi, N., Aoki, D., Fukushima, K. (2020). Localization of (+)-catechin in Picea abies phloem: responses to wounding and fungal inoculation. Molecules. DOI: 10.3390/molecules25122952.

Keriö, S.
, Terhonen, E.-L., LeBoldus, J. M. (2020). Non-toxic and low-cost DNA extraction method suitable for studying tree-microbe interactions. Bioprotocol, 10(11). DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.3634

Tabima J. F., Søndreli, K. L., Keriö, S., Feau, N., Sakalidis, M., Hamelin, R., LeBoldus, J. M. (2019). 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. DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-05-19-0131-R

Bladon, K. D., Bywater-Reyes, S., LeBoldus, J. M., Keriö, S., Segura, C., Ritóková, G., Shaw, D. C. (2019). Increased streamflow in catchments affected by a forest disease epidemic. Science of the total environment, 691, 112-123. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.07.127

Keriö, S.
, Daniels, H., Gomez-Gallego, M., Tabima Restrepo, J., Lenz, R., Søndreli, K. L., J., Grünwald, N. J., McDougal, R., Williams, N. M., LeBoldus, J. M. (2019). From genomes to forest management - tackling invasive Phytophthora species in the era of genomics. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2019.1626910

Abraham, N. D., Chitrampal, P., Keriö, S., LeBoldus, J. M. (2018). Multiplex qPCR for detection and quantification of Sphaerulina musiva in Populus stems. Plant Pathology, 67. DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12913

Kovalchuk, A., Raffaello, T., Jaber, E., Keriö, S., Ghimire, R., Lorenz, W. W., Dean, J. F. D., Holopainen, J. K., and Asiegbu, F. O. (2015). Activation of defence pathways in Scots pine bark after feeding by pine weevil (Hylobius abietis). BMC Genomics, 16, 352. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-1546-9

Keriö, S.
, Niemi, S. M., Haapanen, M., Daniel, G., and Asiegbu, F. O. (2015). Infection of Picea abies clones with a homokaryotic isolate of Heterobasidion parviporum under field conditions. Can. J. For. Res., 45, 226-234. DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2014-0247

Kovalchuk, A., Keriö, S., Oghenekaro, A., Jaber, E., Raffaello, T., Asiegbu, F.O. (2013).
Antimicrobial defenses and resistance of forest trees: challenges and perspectives in a genomic era. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 51, 221-244. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-082712-102307