Dr. Lee Miller began as an assistant professor of turfgrass pathology in January 2022. Lee previously served in a similar position at the University of Missouri from 2010 – 2021. Lee’s responsibilities include providing disease diagnosis and control recommendations for the lawn, golf, sports turf, and sod industries in Indiana and the surrounding region. In this context, Lee works closely with the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab with submitted turfgrass samples. Although home lawn samples are submitted frequently, samples from golf putting greens are often the most difficult to diagnose, since greens are mowed very low and are therefore prone to many diseases and stresses.
Lee’s past research projects are varied, with studies involving fungicide resistance detection in dollar spot populations, fairy ring biology and prevention with spring fungicide applications, spring dead spot management and cultural control, the effects of fertility and fungicide application methodologies on large patch control, and detection of Pythium spp. in golf course irrigation water. At Purdue, Lee directs a large field research program with Matt Carpenter, his new research associate, serving as lead. They work with various industry cooperators to test new controls for important turfgrass diseases such as anthracnose, brown patch, dollar spot, and gray leaf spot. Lee’s current research involves investigation of plant parasitic nematode dynamics in golf putting greens, black layer etiology and development, and interseeding tactics for incorporating host resistant turfgrass cultivars.