Our goal is to identify emerging problems facing the turfgrass industry and provide real-world solutions based on results of our research.

The turfgrass industry is constantly evolving with new challenges appearing annually. Our lab focuses on identifying key problems faced by golf course superintendents and others in the turfgrass industry, conducting basic and applied research trials to solve these issues, and providing cultural and chemical management solutions for end users.

While our lab focuses heavily on disease management and the identification of new and emerging diseases on golf courses, we conduct a wide range of studies related to golf course management.

Our Core Research Areas

  • Biology of new pathogens and epidemiology of emerging diseases
  • Cultural and chemical management of turfgrass diseases and weeds
  • Herbicide resistance of common weed species
  • Management of annual bluegrass
  • Putting green playability and plant health
  • Utilization of emerging technologies

We welcome prospective graduate students and collaborators interested in novel, multidisciplinary research that seeks to solve real-world problems.

Fungicide and Herbicide Field Evaluations

Our lab routinely conducts field trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of fungicides and herbicides used in the turfgrass industry. We are open to the screening of other products use in turf. Please contact Dr. Kaminski for more information.

Turfgrass Pest Diagnostic Lab

The Turfgrass Pest Diagnostic Lab was opened in 2020 and offers turf pest diagnostic services for commercial turfgrass managers. Out lab provides accurate and rapid diagnosis of diseases, insects and weeds and provides control recommendations. Visit our website for more information.

Our Team

  • Dr. John Kaminski, Professor
  • Dr. Louis Bengyella, Assistant Research Professor
  • Mr. Tim Lulis, Research Technologist
  • Mr. Travis Russell, Ph.D. Candidate (Pythium patch)
  • Mr. Kaiyuan Tang, Ph.D. Candidate (Poa annua)
  • Ms. Maureen Kahiu, M.S. Candidate (DMI safety and resistance)
  • Ms. Krystal Snyder, M.S. Candidate (Hemp fertility)
  • Ms. Shannon Hunsberger, Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Ms. Jessica Shi, Undergraduate Research Assistant
  • Ms. Vrinda Agarwal, Undergraduate Social Media Manager
  • Ms. Valentina Samone, Undergraduate Social Media Manager

Our work involves a number of graduate students and colleagues at Penn State, and collaborators from other institutions. For more information on our lab or research opportunities, please contact Dr. Kaminski.

Former Graduate Students

  • Amy Baetsen, M.S. (Thatch collapse)
  • Devon Carroll, M.S. (Annual bluegrass winterkill)
  • Kyung Han, M.S. (Annual bluegrass management)
  • Yu Huang, M.S. (Dollar spot)
  • Timothy Lulis, M.S. (Putting green health and tournament preparation)
  • Alex Putman, M.S. (Dollar spot)
  • Cameron Stephens, M.S. (Dollar spot)

Former Undergraduate Students

  • Ms. Devon Carroll
  • Mr. Rijul Bhimwal
  • Ms. Kristy Fu
  • Mr. Ryan Hill
  • Ms. Emily Milligan
  • Ms. Hannah Morrissey
  • Mr. Kyle Zampogna