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Dr. David Kopsell

- Horticulture

Contact Information:

Campus Box 5020


(309) 438-3275

Phone 2:

(309) 310-4003


(309) 438-5653


Office Hours:


144 Ropp Agriculture Bldg


8:00 am -9:00 am


8:00 am -10:00 am


8:00 am - 10:00 am

Photo of  Dr. David  Kopsell

Degree Information:

  • PhD in Horticulture; University of Georgia; 1999
  • MS in Horticulture; University of Georgia; 1995
  • BS in Agbusiness-Horticulture; Illinois State University; 1993
  • AS; McHenry County College; 1991

Classes Taught:

  • AGR 120 Introductory Horticulture; AGR 252 Landscape Management; AGR 257 Fruit & Vegetable Production; AGR 262 Ornamental Plant Production; AGR 352 Turfgrass Management; AGR 353 Landscape Design; AGR 389.34 Pest Identification & Management


  • 2015 Outstanding Undergraduate Educator, Amer Soc for Hort Sci; 2010, 2012-2016 Harvey S. Woods Outstanding Teaching Award - ISU Ag Dept; 2010, 2012-2016 NACTA Teaching Award of Merit; 2013 Outstanding Associate Editor for Nat Sci Edu J; 2012-2015 CeMAST Teaching Fellow; 2011 AASCARR Distinguished Young Educator Award; 2010-2011 CAST Outstanding Teacher Award

Research Interests:

Plant Nutrition and Quality Factors of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops; Teaching Methodology


My area of research specialization is the effect of plant nutritional & environmental factors on horticultural  crop quality.  Specifically, my past research has investigated the influence of fertility and plant growth factors on the phytonutrient content of vegetable crops such as basil, kale, parsley, and spinach.  I am also branching out into investigating and improving service learning teaching methods in horticulture.

Graduate student research projects have been conducted into the effects of fertility on ornamental grass and annual bedding plant quality and phytonutrient content of watercress.  My current graduate students are preforming surveys of golf course superintendents to assess student participation in Audubon Sanctuary Certification efforts on university and public/private golf courses in the U.S.  Their efforts will also help the ISU Weibring Golf Club achieve Audubon Certification.

Professional Organizations:

American Society for Horticultural Science; NACTA; Pi Alpha Xi


I started my position here at ISU in the Fall of 2008, fifteen years after graduating from the Agriculture Department in 1993 with my B.S. in Horticulture.  It is great to be back at ISU!

I grew up in Hebron, IL (population 800) on a family-owned 200-acre ornamental production nursery with my identical twin brother (who is now a professor at the University of Tennessee).  Since receiving my Ph.D. my professional experiences have included working as the state vegetable specialist for the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, working on USDA-funded basic research, private consultation with sweet onion growers all over the globe, and teaching positions at both McHenry County College and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

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Illinois State University

Department of Agriculture
Normal, Il 61790-5020
Phone: (309) 438-5654

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