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Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

Gulf Coast Research and Education Center

Dr. Gary Vallad

Professor of Plant Pathology

Dr. Gary Vallad’s research and extension program focuses on the diagnosing and managing diseases common to vegetable and ornamental production with an emphasis on the development and implementation of bio-based disease management strategies.

His research utilizes traditional and contemporary approaches to study pathogen biology, disease epidemiology, and plant-pathogen interactions. 

Current projects are focused on the managing diseases caused by Alternaria spp., Corynespora cassiicolaFusarium spp., Sclerotium rolfsiiPseudomonas spp., and Xanthomonas spp. in vegetable and ornamental production as well as developing strategies to manage soil-borne pests and pathogens in raised-bed, plasticulture production systems.

Check out Dr. Vallad's Lab for more information on his current research efforts! 

  • Research

    Dr. Vallad conducts and publishes applied and fundamental research related to the etiology, epidemiology, and management vegetable and ornamental crop diseases in Florida. The goal of his research program, in collaboration with other UF/IFAS GCREC and state faculty, is to improve vegetable and ornamental crop production in a sustainable manner, which conserves Florida’s natural environment.

  • Extension

    Dr. Vallad provides leadership in Extension programs and communicates current research findings to state Extension faculty and industry clientele regarding diagnosing and managing vegetable and ornamental crop diseases.

    His Extension programs help Extension specialists, commercial producers, agricultural industry representatives, and crop consultants—in cooperation with other UF/IFAS Extension and research faculty—increase their plant disease management expertise. 

  • Lab Team
    Lab Phone Number 813-419-6600
    Staff Member Email
    Marissa Cassaway, Bio Scientist II
    Garrett Giles, Grad Student  
    Drake Elting, OPS Tech  
    Tim Kloppe, PostDoc  
    Scott Hughes, Ag Assistant III
    Jesenia Lopez-Rodriguez, OPS Field Tech
    Renzo Ramirez, Grad Student
    Roshni Panwala, Grad Student  
    Andrea Suazo, Grad Student  
    Jingya Yang, Grad Student



Rm. 126
Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
14625 CR 672
Wimauma, FL 33598

  • Education


    • Ph.D. Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2003
    • M.S. Crop and Weed Science, North Dakota State University, 1998
    • B.S. Biotechnology and Microbiology, North Dakota State University, 1996
  • Publications
  • Professional Service and Awards
    • American Phytopathological Society-Southern Division, Secretary & Treasurer, 2012 – Present
    • Plant Disease Management Reports, Associate Editor, 2013 – Present
    • European Journal of Plant Pathology, Associate Editor, 2012 – Present
    • Journal of Plant Pathology, Associate Editor, 2007 – Present
    • Phytopathology, Associate Editor, 2008–2011
    • 4th International Symposium on Tomato Diseases, Organizing Committee, 2013
    • 21st International Pepper Conference, Organizing and Sponsorship Committee, 2012
    • 25th Annual Tomato Disease Workshop, Organizer, 2010
    • Genetics Society of America, Member, 2006 – Present
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Member, 2004 – Present
    • American Phytopathological Society, Member, 2000 – Present