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Tom C Creswell

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Clinical Engagement Associate Professor - Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
Life Science Plant and Soils Room 116

As Director of the Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory (P&PDL), I am responsible for overseeing daily operations and administration of the lab. The P&PDL is an interdisciplinary lab, taking advantage of technical expertise from several departments in the College of Agriculture to provide diagnostic and identification services to our clients. Our lab serves as the state laboratory for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

My responsibilities include supervising P&PDL staff, and managing all accounts and finances. In my role as a diagnostician I work toward accurate and timely diagnosis of plant disease problems on samples submitted to the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, along with control recommendations when requested. I help provide training in disease diagnostics to county Cooperative Extension educators, grower groups and others.

Outreach efforts include timely contributions of disease diagnostic information to newsletters and our website to help keep our clients informed about current problems.

1987 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC - Ph.D. Plant Pathology
1982 Auburn University, Auburn, AL - M.S. Plant Pathology
1980 Auburn University, Auburn, AL  - B.S. Major: Botany with emphasis in Horticulture

2008 to present: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Director, Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab, Dept. of Botany and Plant Pathology
1987 to 2008: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 
Lab Director, Plant Disease and Insect Clinic, Department of Plant Pathology

Awards & Honors

(2013) 2013 Extension and Education Community Award for Digital Decision Aids. American Agronomy Society.

(2013) College of Agriculture Team Award 2013. Purdue University College of Agriculture.

(2013) Midwest Regional Turf Foundation Award of Achievement 2013. Midwest Regional Turf Foundation (MRTF).

(2012) 2012 PUCESA Team Award: Imprelis Herbicide Injury Response Team. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists' Association.

(2010) 2010 PUCESA Team Award. Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists Association.

Selected Publications

Abbasi, M., Aime, M. C., Creswell, T. C., & Ruhl, G. (2016). First Report of Rust Disease Caused by Coleosporium apocynaceum on Amsonia 'Blue Ice' in Indiana. Plant Disease, 100(8), 1786. Retrieved from

Webb, C. A., Speers, C. L., Ruhl, G., & Creswell, T. C. (2016). First Report of Bacterial Leaf Spot Caused by Pseudomonas cichorii on Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) in Indiana. Plant Disease, 100(6), 1232. Retrieved from

Creswell, T. C., Ruhl, G., Aime, M. C., Beckerman, J. L., & Abbasi, M. (2016). First Report of rust disease of Bradford Pear caused by Gymnosporangium clavipes. Plant Disease, 100(4), 860. Retrieved from

Egel, D. S., Deering, A. J., White, E. M., Maynard, E. T., Ruhl, G., Faghihi, J., . . . Guan, W. (2016). Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2016. 216. Retrieved from

Rivera, Y., Creswell, T. C., Ruhl, G., & Crouch, J. A. (2015). First Report of Downy Mildew Caused by Plasmopara halstedii on Native Rudbeckia fulgida Aiton var. speciosa (Wender.) Perdue in Indiana. Plant Disease, 99(9), 1278. doi:10.1094/PDIS-11-14-1190-PDN

Beckerman, J., & Creswell, T. (2014). First Report of Brown Rot (Monilinia fructicola) on the Dogwood, Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) Plant Disease, 98, 1275-1276. Retrieved from

Kim, B., Ruhl, G., Creswell, T., & Loesch-Fries, L. (2014). Molecular identification of a Tobacco mosaic virus isolate from imported petunias. Plant Health Progress, 10, 1094. Retrieved from

Mollov, D., Lockhart, B., Phibbs, A., Creswell, T., Ruhl, G., Dorman, E., . . . Jordan, R. (2014). Clematis chlorotic mottle virus, a novel virus occurring in clematis in the USA. Phytopathology, 104, S3.81.

Leonberger, A., Speers, C., Ruhl, G., Creswell, T., & Beckerman, J. (2013). A Survey of Phytophthora spp. in Midwest Nurseries, Greenhouses, and Landscapes. Plant Disease, 97, 635-640. Retrieved from http://:

Patton, A., Ruhl, G., Creswell, T., Wan, P., Scott, D., Becovitz, J., & Weisenberger, D. (2013). Potential Damage to Sensitive Landscape Plants from Wood Chips of Aminocyclopyrachlor Damaged Trees. Weed Technology, 27, 803-809. Retrieved from

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