UGA Horticulture Department

Horticulture Graduate Students Receive Research Awards

Congratulations to UGA Hort students Geoffrey Weaver, Connor Ryan and Kaitlin Barrios whom took 3 out of the 5 competition awards during the Bryson James Student Research Competition. Here is the press release from Nursery Management magazine:

Atlanta, Ga. – Five students from two universities were presented cash awards totaling $1,800 for their presentations at the Bryson L. James Student Competition. The competition took place during the 62nd SNA Research Conference, and the awards were presented on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md.

The competition, sponsored by Bennett’s Creek Wholesale Nursery and Lancaster Farms, is named in honor of Dr. Bryson L. James, McMinnville, Tenn., a researcher and consultant who served as SNA Director of Research for more than 30 years. Any student of a university or college having researchers that participate in the Southern Nursery Association Research Conference and not more than a one academic year has passed since their graduation and whose research was completed prior to graduation can participate in the competition. Judging is based on paper preparation and oral presentation. The competition is divided into three categories of Ph.D., M.S., and B.S.

First place winners of $500 each included:
Geoffrey Weaver, University of Georgia (Ph.D.)
Title: Modeling energy-efficient lighting strategies for petunia and impatiens using chlorophyll fluorescence and historical weather data

Connor Ryan, University of Georgia (M.S.)
Title: Susceptability of Sarcococca Taxa to Boxwood Blight Caused by Calonextria pseudonaviculata

Second place winners of $300 each included:
Md Niamul Kibir, Tennessee State University (Ph.D.)
Title: Effect of fungicides and biorational products on Phytophthora root rot of hydrangea cultivars

Matthew Brown, Tennessee State University (M.S.)
Title: Evaluation of fungicides and biofungicides for control of Phytophthora cinnamomi on flood-stressed flowering dogwoods

Third place winners of $200 each included:
Kaitlin Barrios, University of Georgia (Ph.D.)
Title: Mutagenesis of Illicium parviflorum for Novel Phenotypes

In addition to the cash awards for excellence in written and oral presentations for their respective research projects, each student was presented with a plaque.

Outstanding representation Hort Dawgs!

Photo courtesy SNA. 2018 Bryson L. James Student Competition Awards Winners pictured from left to right: Geoffrey Weaver, Md Niamul Kibir, Kaitlin Barrios, Connor Ryan, and Matthew Brown

Hort Faculty Receive Publication Awards from SR-ASHS

 

Congratulations  are in order for eight of our faculty for being awarded a total of five outstanding Extension publication awards they authored and published in 2017.  The recognitions were presented at the Southern Region meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science.  Dr. Tim Coolong, Dr. George Boyhan, Dr. Susanne Stone, Dr. Pam Knox, Dr. Erick Smith, and Dr. Bodie Pennisi each received one award and Dr. Matthew Chappell received two Extension Blue Ribbon Awards!  Dr. Bodie Pennisi was voted In as President Elect for the 2019 SR-ASHS Presidency also. The annual meeting this year was held in Jacksonville Florida.  UGA swept five publication categories this year and will have a Hort faculty member as President. Well done colleagues!

Van Iersel Awarded the 2018 Porter Henegar Memorial Award by SNA Board

Dr. Marc van Iersel, Professor, University of Georgia, Athens Campus, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Porter Henegar Memorial Award!!!

Marc van Iersel was born in the Netherlands and exposed to horticulture at a young age, playing in his grandfather’s flower shop and greenhouses. He studied horticulture in the Netherlands, where he received his MS degree in 1989. He then came to the US and received his PhD from the University of Arkansas in 1994. He has been with horticulture department of the University of Geor­gia since 1995, where he now holds the Dooley professorship.

His current research focuses on cost-effective supplemental lighting technologies in greenhouses and vertical farms. He does so by studying plant physiological responses to different light intensities and spectra. The goal is to develop crop-specific, cost-effective lighting protocols. Past research focused on efficient irrigation and fertilization in the production of ornamental plants. He has pub­lished 120+ scientific papers and has given invited lectures about his research around the world, including in Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Kenya, Canada, Chile, and Brazil.

In 1969, an Award of Merit was created to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to ornamental horticultural research and, more specifically, to SNA. In 1972, the SNA Board of Directors resolved that the Award of Merit would be renamed the Porter Henegar Memorial Award for Horticultural Research in memory of the late Porter Henegar, Past Executive Secretary of SNA (1959 – 1972), to commemorate his years of tireless effort and service to the SNA. The recipient is selected annually by fellow research workers for his/her concern and work toward improving the nursery industry

The SNA Board of Directors also honors individuals that have served this association and the nursery industry in various capacities throughout the years and have made outstanding contributions during their active participation in the Southern Nursery Association with honorary membership awards. This year, one deserving industry member has been selected to receive an SNA Honorary Member Award. He has, no doubt, made outstanding contributions to the association and the

indus­try during his participation in the Southern Nursery Association.

Congratulations Dr. van Iersel!

 

Horticulture Department Head Position Announced

Professor and Department Head, Horticulture Position Announced.

The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences seeks candidates for the position of professor and head of the Department of Horticulture. This is a 12-month, tenure-track position. The successful candidate will be expected to administer and coordinate high-quality teaching, research and Extension programs while playing a proactive role in increasing extramural support for these programs. Specific responsibilities include faculty recruitment, management and leadership; student recruitment; faculty performance evaluations; the coordination of promotion and tenure procedures; program planning and implementation; budget management; and management of physical facilities, including both laboratory and field facilities. The individual will also work effectively with faculty, representing the department among university and agency administrators, industry clientele, and state and federal personnel. The department head (or their designee) has oversight over field units supporting research, teaching and outreach.

Minimum Qualifications
• A doctorate in horticulture, plant biology or related
biological sciences, with demonstrated excellence in
teaching, research and/or extension.
• The successful applicant must qualify for the rank
of professor.
Preferred Qualifications
• Higher education administrative experience.
• Evidence of creative and innovative leadership.
• Demonstrated success in procuring extramural funding.
• Ability to work effectively with faculty, staff and students.
• A demonstrated commitment to diversity.

Applications
Applications received by February 1, 2018, will be assured
full consideration; however, screening will continue until the
position is filled. Applicants should submit documentation
electronically at facultyjobs.uga.edu/postings/3253.
To apply, submit: (1) a formal letter stating the applicant’s
qualifications for the position and a statement of leadership
philosophy; (2) a current resume that includes a list of
publications; and (3) a list of four references with contact
information including email addresses. References will
not be contacted without further communication with the
applicant. Salary is commensurate with qualifications, and a
comprehensive benefits package is included.
The Department of Horticulture
Research, teaching and Extension faculty (32), students
(30 graduate, 61 undergraduate and 21 organic agriculture
certificate program) and staff (45) are located on the
Athens, Tifton and Griffin campuses. Through research and
Extension, the department supports Georgia’s large and
diverse horticulture industry, which has a farmgate value of
$1.4 billion. Departmental programs include plant breeding,
genetics and genomics; plant physiology; postharvest biology;
plant production management; resource management; and
native plant conservation. Faculty members work on a vast
array of fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, herbs, medicinal
plants, endangered native species and row crops.
Outstanding graduate programs leading to either master’s or
doctoral degrees are supported by a large graduate faculty
with diverse research programs and broad disciplinary
expertise. The department hosts a large Extension program
focused on applied research to address the needs of farmers
and the public in Georgia and worldwide.

The University of Georgia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin,
sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or protected veteran status.

Here is the link to the Application Site…    https://facultyjobs.uga.edu/postings/3253

JOB PROSPECTUS: PROFESSOR AND
DEPARTMENT HEAD, HORTICULTURE
For more information, visit caes.uga.edu/departments/horticulture.html.
Nominations are encouraged and accepted. All nominations and inquiries should be directed to Search Committee
Chair and Department of Entomology Head Kris Braman at kbraman@uga.edu or (706) 542-2816.

 

Marc van Iersel named Dooley Professor

Dr. Marc van Iersel, the new Dooley professor

Marc van Iersel has been named the ‘Dooley Professor’ in the Department of Horticulture. The Vincent J. Dooley professorship was established by the UGA athletic foundation in honor of former UGA football coach and athletic director Vince ‘Coach’ Dooley. Coach Dooley is an avid gardener and supporter of the horticulture department. This endowed chair is awarded to a faculty member with ‘an outstanding national reputation in the area of Ornamental Horticulture’. Dr. Marc van Iersel is excited to receive this honor. The funds associated with this endowed position will be used to strengthen his research into optimal lighting strategies in greenhouses and vertical farms and to enrich the experience of the graduate students who work in his research group.

UGA Research Leader’s Work on Tomato Genome Featured in PLOSbgenetics!

Dr. Esther van der Knapp, Professor in the Department of Horticulture and the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics & Genomics and her team of scientists from UGA and The Ohio State University have recent had their work on Cell size regulation published in PLOS genetics, a very prestigious genomic science journal.  According to the research summary:  “Starting about 10,000 years ago, during the Neolithic period, human societies began the transformation from a hunting and gathering-dependent lifestyle to an agrarian lifestyle. This transformation was accompanied by plant and animal domestication. Tomato shows a huge increase in fruit weight that has arisen as a consequence of its domestication. We identified a gene that encodes a poorly characterized protein that controls fruit weight in tomato. The mutation that led to the increase in fruit weight arose early during the cultivation of tomato and is now incorporated in all large tomato varieties. The gene regulates cell size in the fruit and is called Cell Size Regulator. The increases in cell size are proposed to relate to cellular maturation that accompanies fruit growth.”

To see the actual publication, follow the link provided below:

Fruit weight is controlled by Cell Size Regulator encoding a novel protein that is expressed in maturing tomato fruits.  Qi Mu , Zejun Huang, Manohar Chakrabarti, Eudald Illa-Berenguer, Xiaoxi Liu, Yanping Wang, Alexis Ramos, and  Esther van der Knaap. 2017  PLOS Gen 13(8) e1006930.

http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006930

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