Dr. William (Billy) Crow
Professor of Nematology
Dr. Crow is the Landscape Nematologist at the University of Florida, specializing in integrated pest management (IPM) of nematodes that damage turfgrasses and ornamental plants. The first stage in IPM is correctly identifying the pest(s) causing plant problems. Dr. Crow is affiliated with the Florida Nematode Assay Lab and assists with diagnosis of nematode problems from thousands of turf and ornamental samples submitted to the lab annually. The Landscape Nematology research program conducts research focused on improving nematode diagnostic methods and detection of new pest nematodes in Florida.
In the 20th century nematode management was dominated by fumigant and organophospaht/carbamate pesticides. However, use of these chemicals is being greatly restricted due to human safety and environmental concerns. IPM uses multiple tactics in a programmed approach to manage pests with less reliance on “harder” chemistries. Implementation of IPM requires much greater understanding of pest (nematode) and host (plant) biology and interactions than conventional tactics. Therefore, the Landscape Nematology Lab conducts research to improve knowledge of nematode biology and population dynamics. Additionally, Dr. Crow along with his staff, students, and colleagues conduct research focused on identification and development of new nematode management strategies to use in IPM programs. These strategies include: 1) Use of resistant and tolerant plants, 2) Use of biocontrols and biopesticides, 3) Use of targeted, safer, chemicals, and 4) modifying the environment to be less conducive to nematode problems.
As an Extension Specialist, Dr. Crow’s primary role is to educate the public on how to best manage nematode problems. To do this he is the author of numerous extension publications and trade magazine articles, in addition to scientific journal publications. He regularly participates in Florida Cooperative Extension programs throughout Florida. He teaches classes on nematode management for golf course superintendents, nurserymen, foliage growers, sod growers, landscape pest control operators, and other groups to thousands of individuals annually throughout the U.S. and internationally.