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Melissa Irizarry

Laboratory Manager and Diagnostician

Melissa Irizarry




Melissa received her B.S. in Horticulture with an emphasis on fruit and vegetable production and her M.S. in Plant Pathology. Both degrees are from Iowa State University. For her master’s, she studied Soybean vein necrosis virus, looking at yield loss, plant host range, and insect vector movements. She worked in the ISU Plant Disease Clinic for 3 years. Melissa graduated from University of Florida with her Ph.D. in 2021 and is currently working at the UF/IFAS Plant Diagnostic Center as the Laboratory Manager and Diagnostician. Her interests are plant disease diagnostics, fruit and vegetables, and food security.

  • Education

    Ph.D. Plant Pathology – University of Florida (2016-2021)

    M.S. Plant Pathology – Iowa State University (2013-2016)

    B.S. Horticulture with emphasis in fruit and vegetable production – Iowa State University (2011-2013)

    President's Academic List – Iowa Lakes Community College (2010-2011)

  • Peer-reviewed Publications
    • Irizarry, M. D., Elmore, M. G., Batzer, J. C., Whitham, S. A., and Mueller, D. S.. 2018. Alternative Hosts for Soybean vein necrosis virus and Feeding Preferences of Its Vector Soybean Thrips. Plant Health Progress, 0:1-6.
    • Anderson, N. R., Irizarry, M. D., Bloomingdale, C. A., Smith, D. L., Bradley, C. A., Delaney, D. P., Kleczewski, N. M., Sikora, E. J., Mueller, D. S., and Wise, K. A.. 2017. Effect of Soybean Vein Necrosis on Yield and Seed Quality of Soybean. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 39:3:334-341.
    • Bloomingdale, C., Irizarry, M. D., Groves, R. L., Mueller, D. S., Smith, D. L.. 2017. Seasonal Population Dynamics of Thrips (Thysanoptera) in Wisconsin and Iowa Soybean Fields, Journal of Economic Entomology, 110:1:133–141.
    • Irizarry, M. D., Groves, C. L., Elmore, M. G., Bradley, C. A., Dasgupta, R., German, T. L., Jardine, D. J., Saalau Rojas, E., Smith, D. L. and Tenuta, A. U., 2016. Re-emergence of Tobacco streak virus Infecting Soybean in the United States and Canada.Plant Health Progress, 17:1:92.
  • Extension Publications
    • Storage problems of cabbage, ISU Horticulture and Home Pest News, February 2015
    • Tips for preventing pesky compost problems, ISU Horticulture and Home Pest News, July 2014
    • Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic update, ISU Horticulture and Home Pest News, July 2014