Paul D. Esker, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Field Crop Pathology
Paul D. Esker, Ph.D.
219 Buckhout Lab (office)
206A Buckhout Lab (lab)

University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-865-0680
Fax: 814-863-7217

Areas of Expertise

  • Integrated management of field crop diseases
  • Plant disease epidemiology
  • Statistical methods for the agricultural sciences


Connect with Paul D. Esker, Ph.D.



  1. B.S. Genetics and Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin
  2. M.S. Plant Pathology, Iowa State University
  3. Ph.D. Plant Pathology and Statistics, Iowa State University

Selected Publications

Nelson, A., S. Savary, L. Willocquet, S.J. Petrybridge, A. Mila, P. Esker, and N. McRoberts. 2017. Crop pests: Crop-health survey aims to fill data gaps. Nature 541:464 (Correspondence, doi:10.1038/541464a).

Esker, P. 2016. Anthracnose stalk rot, Section 6.1 in: A Farmer’s Guide to Corn Diseases, K. Wise, D. Mueller, A. Sisson, D. Smith, C. Bradley and A. Robertson (eds). APS Press, St. Paul, MN.

Esker, P. 2016. Anthracnose leaf blight, Section 4.1 in: A Farmer’s Guide to Corn Diseases, K. Wise, D. Mueller, A. Sisson, D. Smith, C. Bradley and A. Robertson (eds). APS Press, St. Paul, MN.

Garrett, K.A., M. Nita, E.D. DeWolf, P.D. Esker, L. Gomez-Montano, and A.H. Sparks. 2016. Plant pathogens as indicators of climate change. pages 325-338 in: Climate Change: Observed Impacts on Planet Earth, 2nd Ed. T.M. Letcher (ed). Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Mallowa, S.O., E.J. Braun, A.E. Robertson, and P.D. Esker. 2016. Fungicides on our field corn - A case study on foliar fungicide use decisions in the US Corn Belt. The Plant Health Instructor DOI: 10.1094/PHI-T-2016-0607-01.

Madden, L.V., D.A. Shah, and P.D. Esker. 2015. Does the P value have a future in plant pathology? Phytopathology 105:1400-1407.

Willyerd, K., C. Bradley, V. Chapra, S. Conley, P. Esker, L. Madden, K. Wise, and P. Paul. 2015. Revisiting fungicide-based management guidelines for leaf blotch diseases in soft red winter wheat. Plant Disease 99:1434-1444.

Mallowa, S.O., P.D. Esker, P. Paul, C. Bradley, S. Conley, and A. Robertson. 2015. Effect of maize hybrid and foliar fungicides on yield under low foliar disease severity conditions. Phytopathology 105:1080-1089.

Marburger, D., S. Conley, P. Esker, J. Lauer, and J.-M. Ané. 2015. Yield response to crop/genotype rotations and fungicide use to manage Fusarium-related diseases. Crop Science 55:889-898.

Murillo-Williams, A., P. Esker, T. Allen, C. Stone, and R. Frederick. 2015. First report of Phakopsora pachyrhizi causing soybean rust in Costa Rica. Plant Disease 99:418.

Marburger, D., V. Muthusubramanian, S. Conley, P. Esker, J. Lauer, and J.-M. Ané. 2015. Crop rotation and management effect on Fusarium graminearum, F. oxysporum, and F. virguliforme populations. Crop Science 55:1-12.

Weidenbenner, N.H., S.C. Rowntree, E.W. Wilson, J.J. Suhre, S.P. Conley, S.N. Casteel, V.M. Davis, B.W. Diers, P.D. Esker, J.E. Specht, and S.L. Naeve. 2014. Fungicide management does not affect the rate of genetic gain in soybean. Agronomy Journal 106:2043-2054.

Mourtzinis, S., S.C. Rowntree, J.J. Suhre, N.H. Weidenbenner, E.W. Wilson, V.M. Davis, S.L. Naeve, S.N. Casteel, B.W. Diers, P.D. Esker, J.E. Specht, and S.P. Conley. 2014. The use of reflectance data for in-season soybean yield prediction. Agronomy Journal 106:1159-1168.

Marburger, D., S. Conley, P. Esker, A. MacGuidwin, and D. Smith. 2014. Relationship between Fusarium virguliforme and Heterodera glycines in commercial soybean (fields in Wisconsin. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-RS-13-0107.

Esker, P.D., S. Savary, and N. McRoberts. 2012. Crop loss analysis and global food supply: focusing now on required harvests. CAB Reviews 7, No. 052.

Peltier, A., C. Bradley, M. Chilvers, D. Malvick, D. Mueller, K. Wise, and P. Esker. 2012. Sclerotinia stem rot of soybean: Biology and control. Journal of Integrated Pest Management 3(2), DOI:

Esker, P.D., and Conley, S.P. 2012. Probability of yield response and breaking-even for soybean seed treatments. Crop Science 52: 351-359.

Swoboda, C.M., P. Pedersen, P.D. Esker, and G. Munkvold. 2011. Soybean yield response to plant distribution in Fusarium virguliforme infested soils. Agronomy Journal 103:1712-1716.

Conley, S. P., P. Pedersen, P. Esker, and J. Gaska. 2011. Soybean yield and Heterodera glycines response to rotation, tillage and source of genetic resistance. Agronomy Journal 103:1604-1609.

Lackermann, K. V., and P. D. Esker. 2011. Application of a rank-based method for improved cultivar selection in soft red winter wheat. Plant Disease 95:1407-1413.

Lackermann, K. V., Conley, S. P., Gaska, J. M., Martinka, M. J., and Esker, P. D. 2011. Effect of location, cultivar and disease severity on grain yield of soft red winter wheat in Wisconsin. Plant Disease 95:1401-1406.

Jirak, J. C., and P. D. Esker. 2011. Tillage, crop rotation, and hybrid effects on residue and corn anthracnose occurrence in Wisconsin. Plant Disease 95:601-610.

Li, X., P. Esker, Z. Pan, A. P. Dias, L. Xue, and X. B. Yang. 2010. Uniqueness of soybean rust pathosystem: improved understanding of the risk in different regions of the world. Plant Disease 84: 796-806.