Ann Renee Chase
Ann Renee Chase was born in San Bernardino, CA. She graduated with a B.S. degree in biology and a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology from the University of California, Riverside. In 1979, she joined the faculty at the University of Florida, Central Florida Research and Education Center at Apopka as an assistant professor to conduct research on diseases of ornamentals, including foliage, cut foliage, bedding, and woody crops. By 1988, she had earned the rank of professor and also served as assistant director of the Research and Education Center at Apopka (1992–1994). In 1994, Chase retired from the University of Florida and was awarded professor emeritus status. She started a family-based contract research business in California, Chase Horticultural Research, where she continues to serve as president.
Chase is a widely recognized expert of diseases of annual and perennial ornamental crops. During her tenure at the University of Florida, Chase investigated numerous foliar and soilborne fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases and described more than 25 new diseases of foliage plants. Chase understands the importance of integrating management strategies to control diseases of greenhouse and horticultural crops. Her research has focused on the effects of plant nutrition on foliar plant diseases, cultural practices, cultivar resistance, and fungicide programs that promote resistance management and sustainability by minimizing inappropriate or ineffective fungicide use. To better understand how to control the insidious bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas campestris, she worked on its taxonomy using DNA and fatty acid analysis, as well as population dynamics and virulence. A hallmark of Chase’s research is how readily it has been conveyed to, and adopted by, the horticultural/floral industries and end-users. At various times, she has served on the Quarantine 37 task force to help stop the influx of potential new diseases. Chase enjoys working with other investigators outside of plant pathology, which provides her a unique perspective on horticulture in general, and working with growers and other industry representatives. In 15 years in an academic position, Chase authored 75 peer-reviewed papers and more than 450 popular and trade publications, and she has been a frequent and popular invited speaker at short courses, seminars, and workshops across the nation.
Since starting her private practice in 1994, Chase has continued to focus her research on ornamentals but broadened the scope to include seeds/variety testing, plant nutrition, application technology, and plant growth regulators, in addition to the disease control aspects. By extensively studying fungicides and the effects on disease control, Chase has continued to develop best use guidelines for many production practices and to develop integrated pest management strategies incorporating the effects of plant nutrition on disease control and plant health. She has worked with more than 40 companies in helping to evaluate their products. Her expert opinion is highly sought after as she understands where and how the product concepts may or may not fit into the production practices or needs. She has been a scientific advisor for the California Cut Flower Commission to search for replacements for methyl bromide. Additionally, she makes about 20 invited presentations per year and, since starting her private practice, has published more than 170 popular and trade articles. Since 2002, she has written a monthly subscription newsletter, Chase News.
Chase has had tremendous impact on her science, profession, ornamental industry, and the public through her love of writing books, which are illustrated with numerous exceptional photographs that she has taken of common and uncommon diseases and other plant problems. Her books are dedicated to educating the plant researcher, teacher, extension personnel, professional grower, and homeowner with photographs accompanied by clear, understandable explanations of the pathogen, biology, and control measures. Through APS PRESS, she has authored/coauthored three books (Compendium of Ornamental Foliage Plant Diseases, Diseases and Disorders of Ornamental Plants, and Diagnosing and Controlling Diseases of Foliage Plants, which combined have sold more than 21,000 copies) and, in 2009, the book Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials. Additionally, she has coauthored three books via other publishers, including Diseases of Annuals and Perennials, Ball Field Guide to Diseases of Greenhouse Crops, and American Horticulture Society—Pests and Diseases.
Chase is a dedicated volunteer in APS and local and national societies and organizations that focus on the horticulture/floriculture industries. She was chair of the APS Foundation Board from 2005 to 2008, was on the Editorial Board of APS PRESS (1986–1989), was associate editor (1983–1985) and senior editor (1991–1993) of Plant Disease, was section editor of Biological and Cultural Tests (1990–1991), and chaired several committees (Illustration of Plant Diseases, Diseases of Ornamentals and Turf Grass, and Diseases of Ornamentals Committee). Chase and her husband, Mike Zemke, also help APS by displaying and promoting APS PRESS titles at their company booth displays at horticulture shows throughout the country. Chase served as president of the Florida Phytopathological Society from 1991 to 1993. Since 1983, she has been a technical editor of Foliage Digest Magazine and, since 1990, has been a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Environmental Horticulture.
Chase has received many awards for service and achievement from organizations on both coasts. Among the awards received are Researcher of the Year Award from the California Nursery Garden Centers Association, Outstanding Service and Achievement in Ornamental Disease Research from UniRoyal Chemical Company, Presidential Gold Medal Award (for contributions in research) from the Florida State Horticultural Society, and a Special Service Award from the Florida Foliage Association. Recognition for her writing has been bestowed by the Chicago Women in Publishing and the Professional Plant Growers Association.
Chase has an exceptional record of success in both academia and private practice and also generously volunteers her time and talents to APS and other societies and organizations. Her enthusiasm for research and writing scientific publications, compendia, books, and popular articles has resulted in the production of quality educational materials about plant diseases and their control for colleagues, extension personnel, ad commercial growers, as well as for homeowners.