20 Plant Science
My academic interests lie in floriculture, greenhouse cropping systems and the physiology of ornamental plants. My research and extension efforts in flower bulb forcing and use are substantially supported by the Dutch flower bulb export industry as well as US companies and Foundations. Findings from my research group have been adopted by many in the floriculture industry worldwide. I also provide leadership for the Seeley Conference, a major floral industry think tank held annually in Ithaca, and I teach courses in herbaceous plant materials and greenhouse management and crop production.
The focus of my group is essentially in the areas of floricultural crop production and postharvest physiology, especially with flower bulbs. We are interested in growth control, ethylene effects on plants, interactions of specific plant pathogens (e.g., Fusarium oxysporum fs tulipae) and tulip bulbs in terms of ethylene evolution by the pathogen, carbohydrate metabolism in bulbous plants and physiological disorders (physiological diseases) in floricultural crops. We are also heavily involved in outdoor trialing and evaluation of annuals and perennials in Ithaca’s USDA Hardiness Zone 5 climate.
I communicate my research findings through a newsletter and the Flower Bulb Research Program website. In addition to talks to grower groups, I also provide leadership for the annual Seeley Conference, and collaborate on the annual Cornell Floriculture Field Day.
I am responsible for two formal courses, Hort 3000 (Annuals and Perennials, aka Herbaceous Plant Materials), and Hort 3100 (Greenhouse Crop production and Marketing). Additionally, I usually direct several independent studies each semester and give guest lectures in other courses.