Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Faculty Profile
John Castello

John  Castello


Orange horizontal rule


332 Illick Hall



General research interests include:

a) Assessment of forest health

b) The ecological impacts of beech bark disease in the northern hardwood forest


Selected Publications

Cale, J.A., Teale, S.A., West, J.L., Zhang, L. I., Castello, D.R., Devlin, P., and Castello, J. D. 2014.  A quantitative index of forest structural sustainability.  Forests 2014 5(7):  1618-1634; doi: 10.3390/f5071618.

Cale, J.A., Ashby, A.W., West, J.L., Teale, S. A., Johnston, M.T., and Castello, J.D. 2014.  Scale insects, decay, and canker fungi in American beech.  Forest Pathol.  44:  doi: 10.1111/efp.12127.

Cale, J.A., McNulty, S.A., Teale, S.A., and Castello, J. D.  2013.  The impact of beech thickets on biodiversity.  Biol. Invasions 15:699-706.

Mukherjee, S.S., Lough, T. Hopcroft, D.H., and Castello, J.D. 2012. New tombusviruses isolated from surface waters in New Zealand. Australasian Plant Pathology 41:79-84.

Cale, J.A., Letkowski, S.K, Teale, S.A., and Castello, J.D. 2011. Beech bark disease: an evaluation of the predisposition hypothesis in an aftermath forest. Forest Pathology: (doi:10.1111/j.1439-0329.2011.00722.x)

Castello, J.D., and Teale, S.A. (eds.) 2011. Forest Health: An Integrated Perspective. Cambridge University Press, London. 392p.

Teale, S.A., Letkowski, S.K., Matusick, G., Stehman, S.V., and Castello, J.D. 2009. Quantitative nondestructive assessment of beech scale (Hemiptera: Cryptococcidae) density using digital image analysis of wax masses. Environ-Entomol. 38(4): 1235-1240.

Zhang, G. Shoham, D. Gilichinsky, D. Davydov, S., Castello, J.D., Rogers, S.O. 2006. Evidence of influenza A virus in Siberian lake ice. J. Virology 80:12229-12235.

Castello, J.D., and Rogers, S.O. (Eds.) 2005. Life in Ancient Ice. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. (

Rogers, S.O., Starmer, W.T., and Castello, J.D. 2004. Recycling of pathogenic microbes through survival in ice. Medical Hypotheses 63: 773-777.

Smith, A.N., Skilling, D.E., Castello, J.D., and Rogers, S.O. 2004. Ice as a reservoir for pathogenic human viruses: specifically, caliciviruses, influenza viruses, and enteroviruses. Medical Hypotheses 63:560-566.

Rogers, S.O., Theraisnathan, V., Ma, L.J., Zhao, Y., Zhang., G., Shin, S.G., Castello, J.D., and Starmer, W.T. 2004. Comparisons of protocols to decontaminate environmental ice samples for biological and molecular examinations. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 70: 2540-2544.

Castello, J.D., Rogers, S.O., Bachand, G.D., Fillhart, R.C., Murray, J.S., Weidemann, K., Bachand, M., and Almond, M.A. 2000. Detection and partial characterization of tenuiviruses from black spruce. Plant Dis. 84: 143-147.

Bachand, G.D., and Castello, J.D.ã 2001. Immunolocalization of tomato mosaic tobamovirus in roots of red spruce seedlings. J. Phytopathology 149: 415-419.

Kopp, R.F., Castello, J.D., and Abrahamson, L.P. 1999. Viruses in Salix grown for bioenergy. Eur. J, For. Pathol. 29: 117-122.

Castello, J.D., Rogers, S.O., Starmer, W.T., Catranis, C.M., Ma, L., Bachand, G.D., Zhao, Y., and Smith, J.E. 1999. Detection of tomato mosaic tobamovirus RNA in ancient glacial ice. Polar Biology 22: 207-212.

Bachand, G.D. and Castello, J.D. 1998. Seasonal pattern of tomato mosaic virus infection and concentration in red spruce seedlings. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.64: 1436-1441.

Fillhart, R.C., Bachand, G.D., and Castello, J.D. 1998. Detection of infectious tobamoviruses in forest soils. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.64: 1430-1435.

Jacobi, V., Bachand, G.D., Hamelin, R.C., and Castello, J.D. 1998. Development of a multiplex immunocapture RT-PCR assay for detection and differentiation of tomato and tobacco mosaic tobamoviruses. J. Virol. Methods.74:167-178.

Fillhart, R.C., Bachand, G.D., and Castello, J.D. 1997. Airborne transmission of tomato mosaic tobamovirus and its occurrence in red spruce in the northeastern United States. Can. J. For. Res. 27:1176-1181.

Castello, J.D., Lakshman, D.K., Tavantzis, S.M., Rogers, S.O., Bachand, G.D., Jagels, R., Carlisle, J., and Liu, Y. 1995. Detection of infectious tomato mosaic virus in fog and clouds. Phytopathology 85:1409-1412.

Castello, J.D., Leopold, D.J., Smallidge, P.J. 1995. Pathogens, patterns, and processes in forest ecosystems. BioScience 45:16-24.

Castello, J.D., Wargo, P.M., Jacobi, V., Bachand, G.D., Tobi, D., and Rogers, M. 1995. Tomato mosaic virus infection of red spruce on Whiteface Mt., New York: Prevalence and potential impact. Can. J. For. Res. 25:1340-1345.

Abstract of Most Recent Publication

Cale, J.A., Teale, S.A., West, J.L., Zhang, L. I., Castello, D.R., Devlin, P., and Castello, J. D. 2014. A quantitative index of forest structural sustainability. Forests 2014 5(7): 1618-1634; doi: 10.3390/f5071618.

Forest health is a complex concept including many ecosystem functions, interactions, and values that render it difficult to assess.  A quantitative system to assess tree mortality with respect to stable forest structure and composition was recently proposed by Cale et al., 2014.  Their empirical multivariate index of structural sustainability derived from 22 non-tropical tree species datasets based primarily from North America differentiated structurally sustainable from  unsustainable diameter distributions with a resultant threshold score.  Six additional species populations from Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia were added to assess the stability of the index and its global applicability.  Populations of Cedrus atlantica in Morocco and Spain, and Eucalyptus creba-xanthoclada complex in Australia were designed structurally unsustainable due to excessive mortality attributable to drought.  The global applicability of this index may eventually enable direct comparisons of the impacts of global disturbances (e.g.. climate change) on the structural sustainability of forests around the world.  We propose the method as one additional metric for the global assessment of forest health.


Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship to University of Bonn, January through June 1987.

J. William Fulbright Foundation Senior Scholar Award to Hort Research, Palmerston North, New Zealand, August through December, 2000.


Courses taught include:

                                                                                          2013 COURSE SYLLABUS