Dan Potter

Daniel Potter

Professor; Urban Landscape Entomology; Insect-Plant Relationships

Phone (859) 257-7458
Fax (859) 323-1120
Dr. Daniel A. Potter Laboratory

Department of Entomology
S-225 Ag Science Center N
Lexington KY 40546-0091

Horticultural Entomology

Curriculum Vitae
PDF icon dapvita16.pdf


Learn more about our research program at the Dr. Daniel A. Potter Laboratory Homepage.


Ph.D. Ohio State University (1978)


Daniel A. Potter, Professor of Entomology, University of Kentucky, is an international authority on the ecology and management of insects impacting turf and woody landscape plants.  He received his B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1974, and his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in 1978. He and his students have published nearly 200 refereed scientific papers, some 25 invited book chapters, three Annual Reviews, and many dozens of trade journal articles.  Potter’s 1998 textbook "Destructive Turfgrass Insects: Biology, Diagnosis, and Control" is a widely used. Dr. Potter has been Keynote Speaker at Scientific and Green Industry conferences throughout the world.

Dr. Potter teaches ENT 320 (Horticultural Entomology), an annual 3-credit undergraduate course with lab, and ENT/BIO 625 (Insect-Plant Relationships), a bi-annual 3-credit graduate level course. He also has taught ENT 110 (Insect Biology for non-majors), as well as various graduate seminars. He has served as Major Professor for 40 graduate students and on the Advisory Committee for about 70 others.

Dr. Potter is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), and received three of their National Distinguished Achievement Awards, for Teaching, Horticultural Entomology, and Urban Entomology.  He was named a University of Kentucky Distinguished Research Professor, and has received College of Agriculture awards for Distinguished Teaching, Research, and Service to Graduate Students.  His Industry recognitions include the 2010 United States Golf Association Green Section Award, and the National Lawn and Landscape Leadership Award.

Courses Taught

Horticultural Entomology (ENT 320). 3 credit hours, Fall semester, annually. This practical undergraduate course covers the biology, diagnosis, and control of insect and mite pests of woody landscape plants, lawns, golf courses, and sport fields, greenhouse crops, vegetables, and fruits.  Household pests, bees, and pollination also are covered. Students learn the basics of insect biology, safe use of insecticides, biological and cultural control, plant resistance, and integrated pest management.  There are weekly labs and field trips. ENT 320 is appropriate for undergrads in the applied plant sciences. Donovan Scholars, Master Gardeners, or other nontraditional students are welcome.  There are no prerequisites, although an understanding of introductory biology is assumed. The course is taught at a level suitable for students without prior entomological training.  

Insect-Plant Relationships (ENT/BIO 625). 3 credit hours; taught Spring semester of odd-numbered years. This interdisciplinary graduate-level course covers the processes that underlie patterns of interaction between plants and insects.  We explore the mechanisms and evolution of plant defense; sensory, physiological, and behavioral adaptations of plant-feeding insects, community ecology, multitrophic interactions, pollination biology, causes of insect outbreaks, and applications to natural and managed ecosystems.  A combination of conventional and Socratic teaching methods is used. Tuesday lectures outline major concepts and theory; Thursday discussions focus on historical and modern research papers and syntheses, including many of the landmark studies in this dynamic field of study.  The course encourages critical thinking, reading, and discussion. It is suitable for graduate students in the agricultural and biological sciences.  No formal Entomological background is necessary.