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Doug Phillips

The secret of improved plant breeding, apart from science, is love” - Luther Burbank

Blueberry Extension Coordinator



  • I have lived most of my life in Florida

  • M.S. Horticultural Science (Blueberry Breeding), University of Florida

  • B.S. Horticultural Science (Soil Science minor), N.C. State University

  • B.S. and M.S. Accounting, University of Florida


  • Thesis project: 

  • Screening southern highbush blueberry cultivars commercially grown in Florida for susceptibility to a stem lesion form of anthracnose. See abstract here.

  • Developing a small scale laboratory assay utilizing detached stems that can be used to rapidly screen advanced selections in the breeding program.

  • Determine segregation of anthracnose susceptibility trait in southern highbush blueberry seedlings developed from crosses with a known susceptible parent and an assumed resistant parent.


My name is Doug Phillips, and I am the new University of Florida blueberry extension coordinator, based out of the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm. I recently graduated with a master’s degree in horticultural science from UF in the blueberry breeding program, working under Patricio Munoz. Prior to that, I received a bachelor’s degree in horticultural science, with a minor in soil science, from North Carolina State University. This is a second career for me, following a career in accounting which provided me with a strong business background.


My thesis research for the master’s degree involved both breeding and pathology, focusing on susceptibility to a stem lesion form of anthracnose in southern highbush blueberry, so I have the knowledge and practical experience working with blueberry disease, as well as breeding for specific traits.


My role in this new position will focus on blueberry production and issues in Florida, especially in the central and south-central parts of the state. I will act as a liaison between commercial blueberry growers and UF blueberry researchers (breeding, pathology, entomology, horticulture, weed science, etc.) to communicate new developments to the grower community, and grower issues, concerns, and successes to the UF researchers. This will help to facilitate successful blueberry production in the state and focus UF research efforts where they will provide the most benefit.


I look forward to meeting and working with blueberry growers throughout the area in the coming weeks. If you have any questions or concerns I can assist with, please contact me (, 813-300-7220).

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