Thomas Forge, Ph.D.

Research Scientist

Applied Soil Ecology / Nematology

Current research and/or projects

General area of research is applied soil ecology, with an emphasis on: (1) Ecology and management of plant-parasitic nematodes; and (2) Integrated root health management for perennial horticulture crops.

Current projects:

  • Impacts of plant-parasitic nematodes on perennial fruit production in British Columbia
  • Comparative tolerance and resistance of new cherry and apple rootstocks to plant-parasitic nematodes
  • Identification and distribution of plant-parasitic nematode species of concern to agriculture in western Canada
  • Pre-plant soil and water management practices to suppress plant-parasitic nematodes and improve replant establishment of perennial fruit crops
  • Interactive influences of organic amendments, mulches and alternative irrigation practices on nematode population dynamics in orchards and vineyards

Education and awards

  • Ph.D. (Plant Pathology), University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.Sc. (Biology), Kansas State University

Key publications

  1. Neilsen, D., Neilsen, G., Forge, T. 2018. Building resilience: future directions in mineral nutrition of woody perennial crops. Acta Horticulturae 1217:1-11. DOI 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1217.1

    2018 - View publication details

  2. Watson, T.T., Forge, T.A., Nelson, L.M. (2018). Pseudomonads contribute to regulation of Pratylenchus penetrans (Nematoda) populations on apple, 64(11), 775-785.

    2018 - View publication details

  3. Forney, C.F., S. Blatt, T. Forge, D. Neilsen, J.A. Cline, K.D. Munro Pennell and S.A.E. Fillmore. 2017. Rootstock effects on phloem amino acid composition: Role in aphid resistance. ASHS Annual Meeting Sept 19-22, 2017, Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA (abstract)

    2017 - View publication details

  4. O'Gorman, D.T., Haag, P., Forge, T.A., and Urbez-Torres, J.R. (2016). "Identification and characterization of the fungal pathogens inhabiting the root zone of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.", Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. doi : 10.1080/07060661.2016.1139308 (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  5. O'Gorman, D.T., Haag, P., Urbez-Torres, J.R., Forge, T.A., Nelson, L.M., and Toivonen, P.M.A. (2016). Characterization and management of two cherry diseases in the Okanagan: cherry slip skin and cherry replant disease. AIP-ASP reporting: BC Cherry Growers Association/Summerland Varieties Corp - Interim Report, January 1,2016. (Report)

    2016 - View publication details

  6. Forge, T.A., Neilsen, D., Neilsen, G.H., Hannam, K.D., Randall, P., and Wambold, L. (2016). "Water-conserving mulch and micro-irrigation practices affect assemblages of nematodes parasitizing winegrape in the Okanagan Valley.", Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  7. Lang, G., Blatt, S.E., Forge, T.A., Lordan, J., Neilsen, D., Reig, G., and Robinson, T. (2016). "Integrating Sweet Cherry Canopy Architectures and Rootstocks in Different Environments: the NC140 Trial Results from Michigan, New York, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia.", XI International Symposium on Integrating Canopy, Rootstock and Environmental Physiology in Orchard Systems.

    2016 - View publication details

  8. Watson, T.T., Nelson, L.M., Neilsen, G.H., Neilsen, D., O'Gorman, D.T., and Forge, T.A. (2016). "Control of Pratylenchus penetrans on sweet cherry using organic soil amendments.", Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  9. Neilsen, D., Neilsen, G.H., Forge, T. and Lang, G.A. 2016. Dwarfing rootstocks and training systems affect initial growth, cropping and nutrition in 'Skeena' sweet cherry. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1130:199-206

    2016 - View publication details

  10. Fentabil, M.M., Nichol, C.F., Neilsen, G.H., Hannam, K.D., Neilsen, D., Forge, T.A., Jones, M.D. (2016). Effect of micro-irrigation type, N-source and mulching on nitrous oxide emissions in a semi-arid climate: An assessment across two years in a Merlot grape vineyard, 171 49-62.

    2016 - View publication details


  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, University of British Columbia-Okanagan
  • Test Site Manager, AAFC Minor Use Pesticides Program
  • Society of Nematologists
  • Canadian Phytopathological Society
  • American Phytopathological Society
  • Soil Ecology Society
  • BC Agricultural Climate Adaptation Research Network