Adam Sparks

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Adam SparksAdam is a former Plant Disease Management Specialist at the Crop and Environmental Sciences Division. He conducted research on crop health problems caused by pests and other diseases.

Adam was also involved in mapping unmanaged epidemics and yield losses due to rice disease by linking crop health models with geographic information system or GIS. He evaluated effects of different tools used to control rice diseases and establishes linkages between yield reducing and limiting factors with crop health management tools.

Adam also led the Crop Health portion of the Philippine Rice Information System (PRiSM) project with PhilRice and the Philippine Department of Agriculture.


  • Plant Pathology
  • Geographic Information Systems


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (2009)
  • Graduate Certi ficate in Geographic Information Science Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (2007)
  • Bachelor of Science in Agronomy, Soil and Crop Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (2000)


  • Post-doctoral Fellow,IRRI (2011-2012)
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS (2009-2011)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS (2004-2009)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln NE (2002-2004)
  • Research Technologist, Soybean Pathology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Clay Center, NE (2000-2003)
  • Research Technician, Corn and Sorghum Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (1999-2000)
  • Assistant Director, Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center (DTC), Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (1997-1999)
  • Research Technician, Soybean, Oilseed and Small Grains


  • Australasian Plant Pathology Society
  • American Phytopathological Society


  1. Decision tools for bacterial blight resistance gene deployment in rice-based agricultural ecosystems. S G Dossa, A H Sparks, C M Vera Cruz, R Oliva.
 Frontiers in Plant Science 6.305 (2015). DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00305
  2. Farmers’ preference for rice traits: Insights from farm surveys in Central Luzon, Philippines, 1966–2012. A G Laborte, N C Paguirigan, P F Moya, A Nelson, A H Sparks, G B Gregorio. PLOS ONE e0136562 (Aug. 2015). DOI: DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136562
  3. Climate change may have limited effect on global risk of potato late blight. A H Sparks, G A Forbes, R J Hijmans, K A Garrett.
 Global Change Biology 20 (2014) pp. 3621–3631. DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-04-11-031
  4. A review on crop losses, epidemiology and disease management of rice brown spot to identify research priorities and knowledge gaps. 
M K Barnwal, A Kotasthane, N Magculia, P K Mukherjee, S Savary, A K Sharma, H B Singh, U S Singh, A H Sparks, M Variar, N Zaidi. European Journal of Plant Pathology 136.3 (2013) pp. 443–457. DOI: 10.1007/s10658-013-0195-6
  5. Taking transgenic rice drought screening to the field. A C M Gaudin, A Henry, A H Sparks, I H Slamet-Loedin.
Journal of Experimental Botany 63.2 (2012) pp. 695–709. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ers313
  6. A. H. Sparks, Forbes, G., Hijmans, R., Garrett. K. A. 2011. A metamodeling approach to extend the application domain of a mechanistic plant disease model. Ecosphere 2:8.
  7. S. Savary, Nelson, A., Sparks, A. H., Willocquet, L., Duveiller, E. Mahuku, G., Forbes, G., Garrett, K. A., Hodson, D., Padgham, J., Pande, S., Sharma, M., Yuen, J., Djurle, A. International agricultural research tackling the e ects of global and climate changes on plant diseases in the developing world. Plant Disease.
  8. K. A. Garrett, Forbes, G. A., Savary, S., Skelsey, P., Sparks, A. H., Valdivia, C., van Bruggen, A. H. C., Willocquet, L., Djurle, A., Duveiller, E., Eckersten, H., Pande, S., Vera Cruz, C. and Yuen, J. 2011. Complexity in climate change impacts: A framework for analysis of e ects mediated by plant disease. Plant Pathology 60:15-30.
  9. K. A. Garrett, Forbes, G. A., Gomez, L., Gonzales, M. A., Gray, M., Skelsey, P., and Sparks, A. H. 2011. Cambio climatico, enfermedades de las plantas e insectos plaga. In Cambio climatico en los Andes. J. Jimenez, ed. In press.
  10. K. A. Garrett, Nita, M., De Wolf, E. D., Gomez, L., Sparks, A. H. 2009. Plant pathogens as indicators for climate change. Chapter in Climate Change Indicators, edited by T. Letcher Elsevier.
  11. M. R. Cheatham, Rouse, M. N., Esker, P. D., Ignacio, S., Pradel, W., Raymundo, R., Sparks, A.H., Forbes, G. A., Gordon, T. R. and Garrett, K. A. 2009. Beyond yield: Plant disease in the context of ecosystem services. Phytopathology 99:1228-1236. doi:10.1094/PHYTO-99-11-1228.
  12. P. D. Esker, Sparks, A. H., Campbell, L., Guo, Z., Rouse, M., Silwal, S. D., Tolos, S., Van Allen, B. and Garrett, K. A. 2008. Ecology and epidemiology in R: disease forecasting. The Plant Health Instructor doi:10.1094/PHI-A-2008-0129-01.
  13. A. H. Sparks, Esker, P. D., Bates, M., Dall'Acqua, W., Guo, Z., Segovia, V., Silwal, S. D., Tolos, S. and Garrett, K. A. 2008. Ecology and epidemiology in R: modeling plant disease progress over time. The Plant Health Instructor doi:10.1094/PHI-A-2008-0129-02.
  14. A. H. Sparks, Esker, P. D., Antony, G., Campbell, L., Frank, E. E., Huebel, L., Rouse, M. N., Van, Allen, B. and Garrett, K. A. 2008. Ecology and epidemiology in R: Spatial analysis. The Plant Health Instructor doi:10.1094/PHI-A-2008-0129-03.
  15. K. A. Garrett, Esker, P. D. and Sparks, A. H., 2007. Introduction to the R programming environment. The Plant Health Instructor doi:10.1094/PHI-A-2007-1226-02.
  16. P. D. Esker, Sparks, A. H., Antony, G., Bates, M., Dall'Acqua, W., Frank, E. E., Huebel, L., Segovia, V., and Garrett, K. A. 2007. Ecology and epidemiology in R: modeling dispersal gradients. The Plant Health Instructor doi:10.1094/PHI-A-2007-1226-03.
  17. K. A. Garrett, Esker, P. D., Sparks, A. H., Scharmann, L. C. 2007. Writing teaching documents as a class project. The Plant Health Instructor doi: 10.1094/PHI-T-2007-1226-01.