Paul Koch

Credentials: Department of Plant Pathology

Position title: Impacts of pesticides on microbial communities in urban and suburban landscapes; Rust diseases; Snow Molds


The overarching goal of my program is to create sustainable, attractive, and functional urban and suburban landscapes. With appointments in extension (70%), teaching (20%), and research (10%) my duties include developing science-based solutions to current problems affecting landscape managers in Wisconsin and beyond and disseminating those solutions to landscape managers through innovative means.

My research has primarily focused on the impact of various environmental factors on the persistence and activity of numerous fungicides applied to golf course turfgrass. Specific factors investigated include snow cover, temperature, sunlight, moisture, and microbial activity. Other areas of research interest include the presence and activity of root-infecting diseases such as take-all patch and necrotic ring spot and the precise conditions favoring pink and gray snow mold development on turfgrass.

I also oversee the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab ( and the Turfgrass Fungicide Testing Program ( at the University of Wisconsin. The Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab receives over 200 samples annually from golf courses, home lawns, sod farms, and athletic fields from around the country. The UW Turfgrass Fungicide Testing Program is one of the largest of its kind in the country and tests approximately 200 fungicide treatments annually for efficacy against both winter and summer turfgrass diseases.