Dr Paul Parker

2011 Recipient of the Arthur T. Potts Award


Dr Paul Parker


     Dr Paul Parker was awarded the Arthur T. Potts Award posthumously at the 2011 meeting of the Subtropical Plant Science Society. He passed away suddenly in July, 2010.

     Since 2003, Dr Parker was Laboratory Director of the USDA-APHIS-CPHST at Moore Field, near Edinburg, overseeing significant change in the emphasis of the facility, and leading multiple scientists in national pest and disease management programs of importance to U.S. agriculture. Prior to this appointment, he worked as a plant pathologist at the laboratory there since 1981.

      Paul was born in Massachusetts, and after gaining his PhD from Michigan State University, he joined the USDA in 1977. During his time in the Valley, he established close ties with the Citrus Center and with the USDA-ARS Center in Weslaco, and as Director facilitated close cooperation between scientists in these centers. The progress on developing management strategies for citrus  psyllid control and biological control of aquatic weeds are examples. After his appointment as Director, he continued his research activities, and frequently visited Florida where he was involved in research on citrus canker. These interstate collaborations will also benefit Texas in the long term.

Paul attended several annual meetings of the Society, and for 29 years served Valley and US agriculture. His quiet demeanor and gentlemanly manners won him widespread respect and admiration. He will be sorely missed, and I believe presenting this award will help to ensure that his contributions will be remembered. The award was presented to his wife, Eng Parker.