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Tom C Creswell

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Lab Director/Plant Disease Diagnostician
Life Science Plant and Soils Room 101

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) 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).

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

(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

Broder, S., Camberato, J., Casteel, S., Creswell, T. C., Faghihi, J., Gerber, C., . . . Wise, K. A. (2013). Corn and Soybean Field Guide, 318.

Egel, D., Foster, R., Maynard, E., Creswell, T. C., Ruhl, G., Faghihi, J., & Saha, S. (2013). Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2014, 210. Retrieved from

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

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

Brouder, S. M., Camberato, J. J., Casteel, S. N., Creswell, T. C., Faghihi, J., Gerber, C. K., . . . Wise, K. A. (2012). Corn and Soybean Field Guide 2013 Edition, 322.

Egel, D. S., Foster, R. E., Maynard, E. T., Creswell, T. C., Ruhl, G. E., Faghihi, J., . . . White, E. M. (2012). Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2013, 208. Retrieved from

Ruhl, G. E., Creswell, T. C., & Dana, M. (2012). Stress-related Conifer Dieback, 3. Retrieved from

Creswell, T. C., Ivors, K., & Munster, M. (2012). Suggested Plant Species for Sites with a History of Phytophthora Root or Crown Rot, 4. Retrieved from

Creswell, T. C., & Ruhl, G. (2010). Corn & Soybean Field Guide: Submitting Samples to the Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab, 4.

Egel, D., Ruhl, G., & Creswell, T. C. (2010). Late Blight of Tomato and Potato, 2.