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Patrick (Pat) E. Lipps

Patrick (Pat) E. Lipps received his B.S. degree in botany in 1975 from Miami University, Ohio. He then attended Washington State University, receiving his M.S. degree in 1977 and his Ph.D. in 1979 in plant pathology. He joined the faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University as an assistant professor to conduct research on corn and wheat diseases and to develop an extension education program for all field crops. He was promoted to associate professor in 1984 and professor in 1992. His current appointment is 60% research and 40% extension.

Over the past 2 decades, Dr. Lipps has established a nationally respected and innovative region-wide extension education program on the biology, epidemiology, and management of soybean, wheat, and corn diseases. His program emphasizes the use of integrated disease management strategies as critical portions of an overall IPM and crop management program. His ongoing teaching efforts, in oral and written form, have been extremely valued for their clarity and quality by agronomic crop producers, crop consultants, agri-chemical representatives, and county extension agents. He is highly sought as a speaker for agronomic cropproducer meetings sponsored by both extension and industry. He has developed a well-earned reputation as an expert who is very knowledgeable of agriculture and plant pathology, who can directly relate to the concerns of the agricultural industry and explain difficult concepts in a clear and concise manner. In the past 10 years, he has presented over 250 extension lectures to over 18,000 participants. In addition, he has published over 370 articles in meeting proceedings, newsletters, and fact sheets, and has prepared numerous video and slide sets for use in extension educational programs. He is an integral part of The Ohio State University Extension Agronomic Crops Team and a regular contributor to the Team newsletter. For his many contributions, Dr. Lipps was recently the recipient of the 2000 Excellence in Extension Award presented by The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Science.

Dr. Lipps has provided extension expertise to international programs in Africa and Eastern Europe. He recently developed a wheat disease extension bulletin and set of fact sheets to be used by producers in the Ukraine as part of the International IPM program. These publications are having a major positive impact on the growers in this former Soviet State.  

He uses both problem solving and basic research to support his extension programs and provides new information on plant health management that benefits growers in Ohio and the region. His research over the past 21 years has greatly increased our understanding of fungal diseases of corn and wheat. Significant contributions have been made in three main areas. (i) He has shown the influence of reduced tillage on field crop diseases and the relationship between inoculum density in no- or reduced-tillage systems and resulting disease epidemics. He has documented the spread of anthracnose and gray leaf spot of corn from infested plant debris and shown how row orientation, plant density, and other factors influence disease development. (ii) He and his colleagues have characterized epidemics of powdery mildew of wheat in relation to the degree of plant resistance and fungicide application. This work showed how to efficiently control this disease and minimize yield loss through a single well-timed application of fungicide based on field scouting. (iii) He has contributed greatly to our understanding of the genetics of resistance in wheat (especially powdery mildew) and corn (gray leaf spot), and has been instrumental in the ongoing development of wheat cultivars for resistance against powdery mildew, Septoria diseases, and other pathogens. Recently his research has shed new light on the selection of resistance in wheat to Fusarium head blight, and current work is showing the influence of the environment on head blight development. New cultivars with resistance to head blight are being developed based on his research. Dr. Lipps’ research efforts have clearly led to improved control of diseases of corn and wheat throughout the northcentral United States, and have had a major impact on grower profitability throughout the region. Over the past few years, he has taken a leadership role in the creation and management of the National Fusarium Head Blight Initiative, which combines extension and research efforts throughout the United States to better understand this disease, develop efficient controls, and distribute management information in an organized and clear manner. He currently serves as the epidemiology research leader for this national effort.

Dr. Lipps has served APS as associate editor of Plant Disease, section editor of Biological and Cultural Control Tests for Small Grains, membership in several APS committees, secretary, chair of the APS Extension Committee, and North Central Division Councilor on APS Council. He has served on several USDA regional committees, including NCR-25 Technical Committee for Diseases of Corn and Sorghum, NCR-129 Technical Committee for Occurrence and Effects of Mycotoxins in Feeds and Foods, and NCR-184 Technical Committee for Management of Head Scab of Small Grains. In 2000, he was honored with the Northcentral Division Distinguished Service Award for his numerous contributions to the profession and science of plant pathology.

Dr. Lipps is active in his department and college at Ohio State University. He has advised nine M.S. and five Ph.D. students, and is a frequent guest lecturer in undergraduate and graduate courses. He has served on numerous department, college and ag-industry committees, and chaired many of them. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Ohio Seed Improvement Association and the Ohio Wheat Growers Association.