156 Plant Science Hall
Optimizing conditions for growth and productivity of cut flowers has been my major aim in recent research and extension activities. I have also been active in promoting the use of unheated greenhouses (high tunnels) for extending the growing season of cut flowers and vegetables, and for lengthening the growing season of schools with gardening programs.
My major research focus has been on the production and physiology of cut flowers and herbaceous perennials. Specific topics have included the reaction to daylength of sunflowers and rudbeckia, increasing productivity by apex removal, and measuring and improving sunflower vase life.
My objective is to provide timely information on new varieties and cultural practice techniques to growers of cut flowers in fields and high tunnels. Recently, a collaborative program with “Agriculture in the Classroom” is encouraging the use of high tunnels to extend the gardening season in school garden programs. Four high tunnels have been provided to rural and urban schools, and we have advised them on enhancing children’s gardening experience with these structures. International outreach activities have been focused on smallholder horticulture in southern Africa, especially in Zimbabwe.
Interaction with students is limited to graduate student advising and mentoring in the SMART program of the Cornell International Institute of Food, Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD). I have accompanied student multidisciplinary teams on two-week trips to Belize and Thailand.