UGA Horticulture Department

Viticulture Graduate Student Wins National Scholarship

 

 

Congratulations to UGA Horticulture Graduate student, Miss Rachael White, who has been awarded the very prestigious American Wine Society Educational Foundation Scholarship. This is a national, and very competitive scholarship that comes with a $3500 award. Rachel works with Dr. Cain Hickey our state Viticulture Extension Specialist. Rachael has several research projects that are supporting wine grape productivity for the Georgie wine industry.  Congratulations Miss Rachael and Dr. Hickey!

Dr. Cain Hickey Recognized by National Industry.

 

Congratulations are in order for our colleague Dr. Cain Hickey, who has been selected by a panel of industry experts as a member of the Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Class of 2019! Cain is our Extension Viticulture Specialist. This honor is reserved exclusively for outstanding young industry professionals who are demonstrating exceptional commitment to making their mark in the industry through innovation and leadership. Cain will be featured, along with the rest of the Class of 2019, in the October 2019 issues of Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News. He will also be honored at an event during the 2019 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO in December. Congratulations colleague on this distinguished honor!

Marc van Iersel named UGA’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year

Dr. Marc van Iersel

The University of Georgia Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes a faculty member who has started a company based on research originated at UGA. Marc van Iersel was named the 2019 winner of this prestigious award. Marc van Iersel is the Vincent J. Dooley Professor of Horticulture in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and has spent more than 20 years supporting the horticulture industry through his research examining crop physiology and smart greenhouse production systems. A pioneer in optimizing controlled environment agriculture, van Iersel was elected as a fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science in 2018, recognizing his lifetime contributions to the horticulture industry. In 2017, he and colleague Erico Mattos co-founded Candidus Inc., a UGA agtech startup that is delivering customized lighting solutions for greenhouse agriculture, maximizing plant growth while minimizing electricity costs. Candidus’ novel technology creates predictability for growers by providing consistent lighting, which yields stronger, healthier plants. In addition to his role as CTO of Candidus, van Iersel served as mentor and advisor of UGA startup Reservoir LLC, a wireless irrigation company with a patent-pending sensor designed to improve irrigation efficiency.

UGA Horticulture Students Attend GGIA Capitol Day

On Wednesday, February 27, UGA Students got off to an early start to goin GA Green Industry Association board members at the State Capitol. We beat many legislators to their offices but still had some great visits with some of the folks who matter most. We followed that up with a visit with Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black who shared some fantastic news and had some words of advice for the students. “Shoot for perfection and you’ll achieve excellence every time.” If you know how hard Gary works for Ag in Georgia, you know these are more than just words to him.

Pictured below are GGIA members and UGA Horticulture Students presenting Governor Kemp with a Berkman print of Augusta National. He seemed genuinely surprised and didn’t know the history behind the print – which was a perfect horticultural history lesson.


Hort Professor’s Work Featured on Cover of HortScience

Congratulations to Dr. John Ruter, our Armitage Endowed Professor and Director of the UGA Trial Gardens.   Dr. John Ruter’s research has been recently featured on the cover of HortScience, a journal of the American Society for Hort Science. The research involves the Formosan Sweetgum, Liquidambar formosana. Dr. Ruter and his graduate student, Kaitlin Barrios published this paper about the selection ‘Formosan Gold’ which as an outstanding cultivar trialed in Tifton, GA. Here is a link to the publication:

http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/53/10/1520.full.html?ijkey=IBxr7UlgrKilNkx&keytype=ref

 

Two Horticulture Faculty Recognized For Outstanding Teaching

Dr. Paul Thomas and Dr. Tim Smalley were both recently recognized by the University of Georgia with 2018 Outstanding Teaching Faculty Awards at this year’s Faculty Recognition Banquet.  The Horticulture Department was represented with two out of the six in the college awards, including including Dr. Maria Navarro, Dr. Marianne Shockley, Dr. Kylee Jo Duberstein and Dr. Brian H Kiepper. The banquet was held at the Continuing Education Center on April 16th and included a nice dinner with the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Samuel Pardue.

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!

 

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.