Dr. Kemerait received a BS degree in Biology from Davidson College in North Carolina and a BS Degree in Chemistry from the University of Florida. He received his PhD in 2000 from the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Florida where he studied under the direction of Dr. Tom Kucharek. He has been an Extension specialist at the University of Georgia since 2000 and has responsibilities for disease and nematode management of peanuts, cotton, corn and soybeans. He continues to be an active member of the American Phytopathological Society, the Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society, the American Peanut Research and Education Society, the Philippine Phytopathological Society and the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Currently, Dr. Kemerait’s program is focused on integration of disease and management strategies to better protect row crops in Georgia and beyond. Such includes assessment of fungicides, nematicides, and disease and nematode resistant varieties. Kemerait is a leader in the Peanut Rx program that includes input from Mississppi State University, University of Florida, Clemson University and Auburn University. His graduate students are investigating a broad range of issues to include better predictive models for tomato spotted wilt on peanut, target spot on cotton, and leaf spot diseases on peanut. In addition, Dr. Kemerait works extensively with small-scale farmers in developing countries to include Guyana, Haiti and the Philippines. These are part of USAID CRSP, PMIL and STRIDE projects.
Kemerait describes himself as, “the luckiest guy in the world” as his job in UGA Extension allows him to devote his career to agriculture, plant pathology, service to the community at home and abroad and allows him to explore the backroads of Georgia, visiting a forgotten cemetery or picking up an arrowhead now and then.