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Mid-Florida Research & Education Center

Mid-Florida Research & Education Center

Dr. Brian Pearson

Associate Professor of Landscape, Ornamental and Protected Crop Management

Contact Brian:


Phone: 407-814-6186


Brian Pearson is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida. Pearson is a true horticulturalist, studying the production of plants for food, materials, comfort and beauty. Pearson’s research is two-fold, focusing on medicinal crop production and landscape and ornamental plant management. Pearson’s Medicinal Horticulture Lab examines the role of plants in producing consumable, holistic products for consumers, and includes work with industrial hemp, yaupon, hops, butterfly pea and other Florida native plants. On the landscape and ornamental plant management side, Pearson broadly focuses on the impact of landscape practices on water quality and quantity, aiming to understand how Florida landscapes impact Florida’s natural resources and long-term sustainability. Pearson’s diverse research program earned him an American Society for Horticultural Science Early Career and Professional Leadership Award along with the city of Apopka’s Chamber of Commerce Innovation Award.

  • Publications

    Select Publications

    • Campbell, S.M., B.J. Pearson, and S.C. Marble, 2020. Influence of substrate type and temperature on germination parameters of butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea). HortTechnology
    • Pearson, B.J., S. Campbell, B. Avery, C. McCurdy, J. Francisco, A. Sharma, and R. Kjelgren, 2020. Preliminary examination of mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine synthesis in response to production environment and post-harvest techniques of Mitragyna speciosa. Acta Horticulturae 1274, 89-96
    • Campbell, S.M., B.J. Pearson, J. Chen, and S.C. Marble, 2020. Estimation of leaf chlorophyll content of butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea) as a function of fertilization utilizing a non-destructive, hand-held spectral analyzer. Acta Horticulturae 1274, 97-102
    • Saha, D., S. Marble, J. Pearson, H. Perez, G. MacDonald, and D. Odero, 2019. Emergence of garden spurge (Euphorbia maculata) and large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguianlis) in response to different physical properties and depths of common mulch materials. WeedTechnology 1-8.
    • Saha, D., S.C. Marble, J. Pearson, H.E. Perez, G.E. MacDonald, and D.C. Odero, 2019. Assessing herbicide movement through mulch materials to improve weed control in landscape planting beds. HortTechnology 29:889-897. https://doi/10.21273/HORTTECH04432-19
    • Stewart, C., S.C. Marble, B.E. Jackson, Pearson, C. Wilson, and D.K. Lauer, 2019. Influence of pine bark substrate age on performance and leaching of nursery preemergence herbicides. HortScience 54:896-902.
    • Saha, D., S.C. Marble, J. Pearson, H.E. Perez, G.E. MacDonald, and D.C. Odero, 2019. Mulch type and depth, herbicide formulation, and post-application irrigation volume influence on control of common landscape weed species. HortTechnology 29:65-77.
    • Stewart, C., S.C. Marble, B.E. Jackson, Pearson, and C. Wilson, 2019. Effects of three fertilization methods on weed growth and herbicide performance in soilless nursery substrates. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 36:133-139.
    • Pearson, B.J. and R.M. Smith, 2018. Effect of Humulus lupulus cultivar on first-year growth and strobile yield utilizing a tall-trellis production system in Florida, United States. Acta Horticulturae. 1205: 497-504.

    Reviewed EDIS Publications

  • Extension Publications

    Packaging and storage of hops (Humulus lupulus).

    Key plant, key pests: Camellia.

    Florida edible garden plants: Hops (Humulus lupulus).

    Soil characteristics and management practices for urban residential landscapes.

  • Awards & Recognition
    • North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Scholar Award, 2020
    • Roche Teaching Scholar, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, 2020
    • Extension Division Education Materials Award, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2018
    • Educator Award,North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, 2017
    • Young/Early Career Faculty and Professional Leadership Competition, American Society for Horticultural Science, 2016
    • Innovation Award, Apopka Chamber of Commerce, 2016
    • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Undergraduate Teacher of the Year Award 2014, Nominee
  • Education
    • Ph.D., Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida, 2011
    • M.S., Interdisciplinary Ecology, University of Florida, 2004
    • B.A., Environmental Science, University of Florida, 2003

The latest from the lab of Dr. Brian Pearson

OrangeTV Highlights MREC Beverage and Medicinal Crop Research

OrangeTV, the official channel of Orange County, Florida's government, recently visited the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center to discuss horticulture and UF/IFAS Extension. Dr. Brian Pearson is an associate professor in the department of...

Dr. Brian Pearson Promoted to Associate Professor

The UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center is proud to congratulate Brian Pearson on his tenure and promotion to full professor in the Department of Environmental Horticulture. “My ability to be successful at MREC is due to the...

Industrial Hemp Virtual Workshop Now Available

Interested in learning more about industrial hemp production in Florida? On Monday, January 11 the UF/IFAS Industrial Hemp Program launched a virtual workshop aimed at updating Floridians on the latest industrial hemp research conducted across...