Dr. Katia Viana Xavier
Assistant Professor I Plant Pathology
My research program focuses on the development of integrated strategies to help growers effectively manage diseases on vegetables, sugarcane, rice, and commercial sod produced in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Work toward this goal includes characterizing the roles of genetic variability of pathogen populations and of environmental factors in disease development, along with identification of sources of host resistance and effective chemical/biological application schedules. My research program includes studies of pathogen identification to monitor the crops grown in the region for early detection of emerging pathogens.
My Extension program focuses on current and future needs and concerns of growers. Thus, I work closely with extension agents, crop consultants, and stakeholders to identify their most pressing needs. The ultimate goal of my Extension program is to disseminate my research findings and knowledge related to integrated disease management to a diverse clientele including growers, crop consultants and industry representatives in the EAA. Opportunities for grower education include disease identification, the importance of proper fungicide rotations and timing, crop rotation, residue management, and epidemiological factors contributing to disease development.