Plant Pathology Faculty

Philip F. Harmon


Philip F. Harmon is an associate professor of plant pathology and extension specialist. He received his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Purdue University. His research interests include diseases of warm season turfgrass species and disease management for southern highbush blueberry. In addition to providing efficient and effective disease management strategies for clientele, additional research goals include selection for turfgrass and blueberry disease resistance in collaboration with plant breeding programs. His extension efforts have focused on providing rapid and accurate diagnostic services to the turfgrass, small fruits, and ornamental plant industries. Recommendations given as part of diagnostic services include practical, research based, disease management solutions. He has served as an assigning editor for Plant Disease Management Reports and as an associate editor of Applied Turfgrass Science.


Turfgrass, Ornamental Plant, and Small Fruit Diseases – diagnosis, management, and epidemiology of fungal diseases.


Dr. Philip Harmon is a native Hoosier; he pursued a turfgrass pathology research project at Purdue University where he earned a Ph.D. Dr. Harmon joined the faculty of the University of Florida, Department of Plant Pathology in 2003, when he accepted an extension and research appointment. Responsibilities of his appointment include plant pathology of turfgrass, ornamental plants, and small fruits.


Please contact Dr. Harmon via e-mail at, with questions regarding current research and employment opportunities.


Dr. Harmon’s research program centers around needs identified by interactions with county faculty and commodity-specific clientele groups through extension activities.

Turfgrass Pathology

Current research efforts focus on disease diagnosis and management of golf course, athletic field, and landscape turfgrass. A survey of fungicide sensitivities of the dollar spot pathogen on Florida golf courses is one turfgrass pathology research project being investigated.

A new rapid diagnostic service is now available from the University of Florida for turfgrass managers. For more information visit and click on Rapid Turf Diagnostics.

Ornamental Plant Pathology

The recent introduction of sudden oak death, caused by Phytophthora ramorum, posed many questions concerning threats exotic pathogens pose to Florida’s ornamental plant commerce, agriculture industry, and fragile ecology. Research efforts in this area focus on detection, diagnosis, and management of new, introduced, and economically important pathogens of ornamental plants.

Blueberry Pathology

The blueberry pathology research program focuses on providing disease management solutions for Florida producers. Specific projects include fungicide timing and chemistry evaluation for disease control and the evaluation of southern high bush blueberry cultivars for resistance to fungal pathogens.

Dr. Harmon develops and delivers cross-commodity extension programs in addition to presenting results of his research programs.

Extension Publications

Search Edis for Dr. Harmon’s Publications ( )

Web Links of Interest


  • Wright, AF; Harmon, PF. 2010. Identification of Species in the Botryosphaeriaceae Family Causing Stem Blight on Southern Highbush Blueberry in Florida. PLANT DISEASE 94 (8): 966-971..
  • Harmon, PF; Hopkins, DL. 2009. First Report of Bacterial Leaf Scorch Caused by Xylella fastidiosa on Southern Highbush Blueberry in Florida.. PLANT DISEASE 93 (11): 1220-1220..
  • Wright, AF; Harmon, PF. 2009. First Report of Lasiodiplodia theobromae Associated with Stem Blight of Southern Highbush Blueberries in Florida. PLANT DISEASE 93 (9): 962-962..
  • Harmon, CL; Harmon, PF; Vitoreli, AM. 2009. Building diagnostic capacity in Central America: A cooperative effort with the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, USDA-FAS, and Ministries of Agriculture. PHYTOPATHOLOGY 99 (6): S51-S51, Suppl. S..
  • Jordan, SA; Harmon, PF; Marois, JJ; Wright, DL; Harmon, CL; Gevens, AJ. 2009. Characterization of kudzu (Pueraria spp.) resistance to Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the causal agent of soybean rust. PHYTOPATHOLOGY 99 (6): S59-S60, Suppl. S..
  • Kammerer, S; Harmon, PF. 2009. A new Rhizoctonia sp pathogenic to seashore paspalum turfgrass. PHYTOPATHOLOGY 99 (6): S61-S61, Suppl. S..
  • Vitoreli, AM; Harmon, CL; Harmon, PF. 2009. Development of a real-time PCR diagnostic protocol for Fusarium wilt of palm. PHYTOPATHOLOGY 99 (6): S135-S136, Suppl. S..
  • Wright, AF; Harmon, PF. 2009. Morphological identification and pathogenicity of Botryosphaeria spp. causing stem blight on southern highbush blueberries in Florida. PHYTOPATHOLOGY 99 (6): S143-S143, Suppl. S..
  • Roberts, PD; Raid, RN; Harmon, PF; Jordan, SA; Palmateer, AJ. 2009. First Report of Downy Mildew Caused by a Peronospora sp on Basil in Florida and the United States.. PLANT DISEASE 93 (2): 199-199..