Doctor of Plant Medicine: Year-in-Review

As 2016 comes to an end, let’s look back at some our best times in the Doctor of Plant Medicine program!

We started the year off with a DPM social with Dr. Andy Vega

External Advisory Committee lunch!

DPM/BRE lab social at Dr. Hodges house.

Matt, Cory, and Ploy went down to Homestead for the Tropical Fruit Production course. So many fruits!

DPMSO Fundraising at Brass Tap

That day when we made a lot of succulent planters for our Ecuador trip fundraiser. Great bonding experience!

Carrot farm tour at Blaire’s farm where we learned about carrot production, and we met Seymour, the John Deere Sprayer!


Our first of many outreach event.

Benjamin, Kayla, Blaire, Cory, Matt and Lisbeth in Marion County for Ag in the Classroom.


Our succulent fundraiser, which was a great success!

Of course, congratulations to the DPM students that presented their research in various meetings!

Cory, Lisbeth and Nicole at 90th Annual Southeastern Branch Meeting for the Entomological Society of America in North Carolina,

Lisbeth  presented in Montreal, Canada at the Organization of Nematologist of Tropical America Meeting

Morgan, Ariane, and Cory presented their research at ICE in Orlando.

Lisbeth presented at the Third International Congress of Biotechnology and Biodiversity in Ecuador

2016 was a great year, 2017 will be even better!



Class Trip to Lake Alfred

Nematode diagnostics class went on a field trip to CREC (Citrus Research and Education Center) at Lake Alfred recently. The class took a tour of the facility with Dr. Larry Duncan, a professor of Nematology. He gave a talk about his recent research on entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control for Citrus Root Weevil. It was very beneficial for DPM students considering it was an alternative approach to pest control.

After lunch, Dr. Duncan took the class to a citrus orchard and showed us the damage caused by Citrus Greening. We also took root samples to extract possible root lesion nematodes and observed root lesion damage.

citrus-grove nem-damage-compressed

Ariane McCorquodale, second-year DPM student, said the trip was very informative,

“The image of the citrus orchard devastated by greening, nematodes, and citrus root weevil will be forever burned in my mind”

Asian Citrus Psyllid

Special thanks to Dr. Duncan and Dr. Mengistu for providing the experience!




An exciting opportunity is coming to DPM students in 2017! For the first time in our program’s history, DPM students will have an opportunity to study abroad in Ecuador. Students will get to learn about tropical crops, agricultural practices, and technologies that can be applied in underdeveloped countries.

As exciting as it sounds, we cannot do this alone.

Our goal is to raise $20,000 for 15 students to participate in this amazing opportunity. Your contributions will not only provide the students with the experience of a lifetime, but they will gain important knowledge that will strengthen their academic career.

Your support is greatly appreciated! For more information on this donation opportunity, please click on the links below:

Concept Paper_Study Abroad in Ecuador

DPM Study Abroad Gift Form



Meet the New Summer DPM Students

UF Doctor of Plant Medicine program has three new students that started this summer: Matt Borden, Craig Frey, and Brandon Jones. We have no doubts that they will fit in greatly in the program. Let’s get to know a little bit about them…

Meet Matt Borden:

Battle Oak

“Hello all! I’m Matt Borden. I moved here from Virginia at the beginning of the summer, and am working for Dr. Dale in the Landscape Entomology lab. Come visit, I usually have biscuits! So far I am really enjoying Florida. All the new plants are interesting, the pests are abundant, and the humidity feels healthy. The campus is enormous, and far too crowded (yes, I know this is the slowest time of the year) but it is also very pretty and I’ve thoroughly enjoying walking around and getting lost while scouting for things. I decided to join the DPM program because of the unique option to study further across multiple disciplines of plant health care. I’ve been working in various sides of IPM for a couple of years so I knew I needed a heck of a lot more training, but did not want to specialize. The DPM program seemed ideal! I have a BSc Biological Sciences from Virginia Tech, but focused heavily in horticulture and entomology. My jobs have also been wonderfully educational. I spent the past year in a plant pathology lab at a VT research station (temperate tree fruits), and have done a wide range of ornamental IPM work at several public display gardens. I am very pleased to be here at UF, and look forward to what the next few years may hold!”

Fun fact: I lived in Zimbabwe and then South Africa for many years and still love exploring new places, far or local. When I’m not working I’m usually diagnosing plant problems online, cooking, jogging, or messing around with my photography hobby.

Meet Craig Frey:


“I studied mechanical engineering in undergrad, which got me interested in agriculture. I spent a year and a half learning about tropical agricultural development before spending a year and a half in southern Africa. I’m working with Dr. Zhao in the horticultural sciences department on organic production of tomatoes and spinach.  We are doing research analyzing the effects of open field versus high tunnel production. I joined the DPM with the desire to develop a depth of understanding in the related fields of plant production in order to be equipped to develop BMPs for small-scale farmers. I most recently came with my family from Durham, North Carolina, though I did live in southwest Florida for a year and a half after undergrad (2005-2006).”

Fun fact: We keep busy with our 3 little monsters (Asher-6, Adah Joy-4 and Abram 2).  We enjoy going big with our gardening and have had our own mini-farm over the years.  At one point time, we had 84 chickens and 22 rabbits in downtown Durham.

Meet Brandon Jones:


“My name is Brandon Jones and I am a Florida native. Much of my time has been spent in the southern portion of the state. While there, I was fascinated with exploring the swamps and natural ecosystems that surround the area. During this time, I also started working in landscaping and quickly developed an interested in plant pathogens. Soon after, I was able to evaluate common problems typically seen in residential and commercial properties, but my knowledge was limited.  I graduated with my BS in Natural Resource Conservation in 2015 from the University of Florida. I was drawn to the degree because it allowed the freedom to choose the majority of my coursework.  Some of these courses were directly applicable for the DPM program. The first time that I heard about the DPM program, I was captivated. The idea of having a broad understanding of plant health peaked my interest. I’m currently working in Dr. Crow’s lab. My research project involves observing how a specific type of compost effects nematode populations.”

Fun fact: At the end of the day, if I have any free time left over, it is spent playing music. My main instruments are banjo and fiddle and most of the music that I play are old-time folk tunes. I have been playing music most of my life, but my interest in old-time music has only started developing over the last three years.

Welcome to the DPM program gentlemen! We are lucky to have you.