I am a professor of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University. Since I was in high school in my home country of Italy I have been fascinated by the ecology of terrestrial ecosystems, particularly forests. I have been lucky that my career has led me to a position where I am fulfilling such interests by being able to investigate tree interactions with biotic and abiotic agents, particularly stressors such as pathogens and insect pests. In the last decade I have dedicated my work to understanding the biology of tree interactions with invasive alien species like the emerald ash borer, which have such a significant impact on forest resiliency and therefore human society. Much of my work has a strong translational bend to it, in that I always strive to translate our basic biology discoveries into tools that could be used for the management of forest pathogens and pests. Discovering ash resistance genes against the emerald ash borer would be a key tool in our fight against this scourge.