Faculty and Research


Graduate students conduct research in cropping systems and weed science, including alternative approaches and management strategies. Emphasis is on improving production efficiency and profitability in an environmentally sound approach that benefits society. Mechanisms of crop physiology and ecology underlying plant responses to the environment are emphasized. Research areas include sustainable agriculture, environmental physiology of agronomic crops, and plant nutrition.



Plant Breeding/Molecular Genetics

Graduate students in Plant Breeding/Molecular Genetics conduct research ranging from applied plant breeding projects emphasizing breeding procedures and methodologies to molecular genetic projects doing biotechnology, genetic engineering, and genomic research in agronomic and horticultural crops. These research projects give students the opportunity to integrate the latest developments in the laboratory with applications in the field to reach the overarching goal of developing new germplasm that will improve the sustainability of our food and fiber systems.




Graduate students conduct research related to fruits, vegetables, potatoes, flowers, ornamental trees and shrubs or turf; and on the physiology, production, environmental impact of cropping systems, and use of horticultural crops. Research areas include the effect of horticultural commodities on human health, hormonal, and stress physiology; flower development and flowering physiology; integrated pest management; postharvest physiology; and cropping system strategies. Students get a broad range of experiences in the field, greenhouse, and/or laboratory using genetic, molecular, biochemical, and ecological tools to answer research questions.



Applied Plant Sciences

Graduate students create an integrated, individualized program combining a breadth of courses from several disciplines including plant biology at the organismal level, genetics and plant breeding, cropping systems and communities, and courses relating to the production and ecology of agrononic or horticultural species. Faculty in the Applied Plant Science specialization are listed under the Agronomy/Agroecology, Horticultural Science, and Plant Breeding/Molecular Genetics specializations to the left.