UGA Horticulture Department
Dr. Marc van Iersel’s Horticultural Physiology Lab has received a $60,000 grant from the Georgia Research Alliance to continue their collaboration with Dr. Mark Haidekker’s photonics lab in UGA’s College of Engineering, and PhytoSynthetix. This long-standing collaboration is focused on the development of energy-efficient, cost-effective methods for supplemental lighting in controlled environment agriculture. We focus on integrating plant physiology and engineering to develop lighting approaches to specifically apply supplemental light when it can be used most efficiently. Given that the energy costs to provide supplemental lighting can be as much as 30% of the total production costs, reduced energy use can have a big impact on the greenhouse industry.
PhD student Shuyang Zhen’s research on the effects of far-red light on photosynthetic efficiency is highlighted on the website of the International Society for Horticultural Science. Shuyang presented some of her research on this topic at the 2016 ISHS lighting symposium in East Lansing, MI, where she won the student competition. Her work has shown that plants can use light from LEDs more efficiently if the light is supplemented with far-red light and has important practical applications for the design of grow lights. She works in the horticultural physiology lab under the guidance of Dr. Marc van Iersel. Great work done by a great student!
Congratulations are in order for five of our graduates students whom have been recognized for their research at the the 2017 Southern Region meeting of the American Society for Horticultural Science. The annual meeting was held in Mobile, Alabama this past February, 2017. Awardees included:
Mary Sutton (Outstanding Undergrad paper Award) Texture Evaluations of Southern Highbush and Rabbiteye Blueberry Varieties. Catherine Belisle(Outstanding MS paper Award) Peaches in Georgia: Finding out what Consumer Want, Suzanne Stone (Outstanding PhD paper award) The Impact of Weeding, Planting Density and Growth Habit on Watermelon Yield in an Organic System, Lauren Redpath (Outstanding MS poster competition) Microscopic Analysis of Cold Hardiness in Southern Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L. interspecific hybrid) Floral Buds., and Bruno Casamali (Outstanding PhD student award), UGA was represented well at this meeting, and the students are to be commended for their fine research endeavors,
More than 20 UGA students, including 9 from the Horticulture Dept., attended the 20th annual Georgia Organics Conference held in Atlanta from Feb 17-18th. Undergraduate and graduate students presented research posters, attended educational sessions and participated in talks ranging from ‘Seed Varieties for Organic Growers’, ‘Management of Disease and Pests in Squash Production’ and ‘Cool Season Vegetables Under High Tunnels’. Scholarships were provided by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The Hartel Family and Horticulture Professors Berle, Knauft and O’Connell.
Students in attendance included: Taylor Cotton*, Emma Courson, Lindsay Davies*, Noelle Joy Fuller, Theekshana Jayalath*, Teri Raskusin, Sara Schwartz, Suzanne Stone and Jean O’Hara Yost *recently graduated
Gray Simpson has been chosen by the faculty to be the departmental Outstanding Senior. Gray has distinguished himself by receiving several noteworthy awards: Greenhouse Product News Intern of the Year, American Floral Endowment Vic and Margaret Ball Internship at Metrolina Greenhouses, Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship, and the most prestigious scholarship offered by the Garden Club of Georgia. He is the Horticulture Vice President and has efficiently grown plants for sale and coordinated the efforts of numerous student to hold a very successful Plant Sale. He also was the Production Coordinator for the Pi Alpha Xi Poinsettia sale. Congratulations Gray, and Well done!
John M. Ruter, Allan Armitage Endowed Professor of Horticulture and Director of the Trial Gardens at UGA was recognized as a Fellow by the International Plant Propagators’ Society, Southern Region of North America, during the society’s recent meeting in Virginia Beach. VA.
This annual recognition is given to an individual each year that has made outstanding contributions to plant propagation and the nursery industry in the southeastern region.
IPPS is a global network of professionals with an interest in plant production, including horticultural research and education, with the aim to improve the knowledge, skills, productivity and professionalism of its members. IPPS has 1600 members over eight geographical regions around the world, spread over four continents.
Congratulations to UGA Hort Ph.D Alum Krishna Nemali who has accepted a faculty position at Purdue University as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Nemali, who studied under Dr. Marc van Iersel, has responsibility for extension and research activities related to controlled environment agriculture which includes ornamentals and vegetables grown under protected culture. He also teaches courses related to controlled environment agriculture production and technology. He has a B.S. in Agriculture from the Andhra Pradesh Agriculture University, India. His M.S. and Ph.D. programs at the University of Georgia focused on development of plant-uptake based automated irrigation technique using sensors and understanding the physiological responses of greenhouse crops to varying input (light, water and nutrients) levels during production. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis he studied physiological mechanisms that render tolerance to drought in Arabidopsis ecotypes. Prior to joining Purdue, he worked at Monsanto company, USA for nearly 9 years as a controlled environment crop physiologist. His research at Monsanto significantly contributed to the commercialization of the first biotechnology-derived drought tolerant maize. He aims to train students with sustainable production practices that are complemented with state-of-the-art technologies in controlled environments to become next generation growers and researchers.A primary goal of his program at Purdue is to develop new and affordable technologies that improve sustainability (i.e., reduce input waste, minimize environmental impact, and increase profits) in controlled environment agriculture and make them easily available to growers. He aims to train students with sustainable production practices that are complemented with state-of-the-art technologies in controlled environments to become next generation growers and researchers.
Here is his contact information:
Krishna Nemali, Ph.D. Assistant Professor
Controlled Environment Agriculture Extension & Research
Dept. Horticulture & Landscape Architecture Purdue University
Horticulture Building, Room 109B
625 Agricultural Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2010
Tel: (765) 494-8179
Two Horticulture Department students have recently received several significant scholarships. Sarah Houtsma, Sophomore, has received the 2016 Garden Club of Long Beach Island Scholarship for Horticulture and Mary Lewis, Senior, has received the 2016 Perennial Plant Association Scholarship, and the 2016 Joseph P. Shinoda Scholarship for Floriculture! All of these are national in scope and regardless of how far away the host organization may be, our horticulture students are academically competitive! Congratulations to Sarah and Mary! Go Hort Dawgs!