Dr. Aaron J. Palmateer

Associate Professor and Extension Specialist — Ornamental Plant Pathology

Welcome to the Palmateer laboratory at the University of Florida IFAS,Tropical Research and Education Center.

Ornamental plant production in Florida is an economically important industry. Miami-Dade County leads the state in production of nursery and landscape plants with total sales reaching $2 billion and an employment impact of approx. 41,000 jobs.

The ornamental industry’s demand for high plant quality combined with a location and climate favorable for plant pathogens makes plant pathology a top priority.

The Palmateer lab focuses on diagnosing diseases and disorders affecting ornamental plants. Areas of interest include developing new diagnostic techniques, characterizing plant pathogens, and implementing effective management strategies for ornamental plant producers.



The Plant Diagnostic Clinic, located at the Tropical Research & Education Center in Homestead, FL, is an extension resource designed to provide plant diagnostic services for anyone interested in plant diseases and insect pests.

Our services include analysis of plant material for bacterial, fungal, viral, and nematode pathogens as well as the identification of insect pests. All diagnoses include appropriate control measures when available.

The clinic is directed by Dr. Aaron Palmateer, who diagnoses diseases and disorders of ornamental plants. Several other TREC faculty are affiliated with the diagnostic clinic. Diseases of vegetables are diagnosed by Dr. Shouan Zhang. Ornamental insect pests are diagnosed by Dr. Catherine Mannion. Insect samples from vegetable crops are diagnosed by Dr. Dak Seal and Dr. Jorge Peña diagnoses insect pests affecting tropical fruit crops.

Dr. Aaron J. Palmateer (Associate Professor) — Ornamental Plant Pathology