UF Entomologist Philip Koehler Appointed To Sapp Endowed Professorship

Chuck Woods (352) 392-1773 x 281

John Capinera (352) 392-1901, ext. 111
Philip Koehler (352) 392-2484

GAINESVILLE—Philip Koehler, professor of entomology with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), has been appointed to the Margie B. and Dempsey R. Sapp Endowed Professorship in Structural Pest Control and Urban Entomology. His appointment became effective Sept. 1.

He was selected for the endowed professorship by a search committee in the Department of Entomology and Nematology, which received $1 million from the Sapps. Their gift was enhanced by $750,000 in matching funds from the Florida Legislature, bringing the total endowment to $1.75 million. Dempsey Sapp, a UF entomology graduate, founded Florida Pest Control and Chemical Company in Gainesville in 1949. The company is one of the largest pest control firms in Florida.

John Capinera, chair of the department, said selection was based upon Koehler’s demonstrated excellence in research, extension and teaching, including his national reputation in urban entomology. Koehler is currently chair of a state pest control study committee that is recommending changes in state building codes to reduce termite damage, which exceeds $500 million in Florida annually.

Koehler will receive funds derived from interest on the Sapp endowment to support additional research and extension education on household and structural pests. His responsibilities include providing education programs about pests (such as cockroaches, ants, fleas and termites) for pest control operators, homeowners, organizations and industries in Florida. His main goal has been to reduce human exposure to pesticides applied in urban areas.

Koehler, who earned his doctorate in entomology from Cornell University in 1972, joined the UF/IFAS faculty in 1975 after three years of service as a medical entomologist with the U.S. Navy. He has authored six books, 13 book chapters, more than 100 scientific papers and 540 fact sheets and articles in trade journals. During the past 20 years, he has given more than 700 presentations on entomology and pest control.

Koehler is an honorary member of the Florida Pest Control Association and the Certified Pest Control Operators Association of Florida.

Other honors include the UF Blue Key Distinguished Faculty Award, the UF Professorial Excellence Award, two U.S. Department of Agriculture Distinguished Service Awards, the National Pest Control Association Leadership Award, the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension from the Entomological Society of America and the Florida Pest Control Association Outstanding Service Award.