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Department News

Nominations are now open for the Department of Horticultural Science Distinguished Alumnus Award. This award will honor an alumnus/alumna who has attained professional distinction in horticultural science as evidenced by outstanding professional achievement on a state, national, or international level. Nominations due June 15, 2017.

Stefanie Dukowic-Schulze, right

Stefanie Dukowic-Schulze has been a researcher in Changbin Chen’s lab since 2011. Originally from southern Germany near Heidelberg, Dukowic-Schulze has published 10 papers in her time with the U of M and given presentations on her research around the world. Read her Q&A.

When traditional growth chambers can't quite cut it, you've got to be ready to get your hands dirty. Researcher Calvin Peters engineered specialized multi-partition growth chambers that can control almost any aspect of a plant’s environment—allowing for more precise measurements and better-controlled experiments than with traditional growth chambers.

Thank you to everyone who donated to our crowd funding campaign to renovate the lobby last December. Thanks to all our alumni, staff, faculty, and even current students we raised nearly $30,000 towards the lobby. A special thank you goes to Emily Hoover, Jim Luby, and Neil Anderson, who matched the donations from the crowd funding campaign.

For the last three years, Emily Ellingson (Applied Plant Sciences, M.S.) has spent her days studying and growing a single type of tree: the eastern hemlock. Ellingson, who is advised by Stan Hokanson and Jim Bradeen, is utilizing microsatellite markers to determine genetic diversity within Minnesota’s native eastern hemlock population in the hopes of improving conservation efforts for the tree.

In 2015 the USDA estimated that only 61% of high-skilled job openings in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields in the United States would be filled. To address this problem, the decision was made in 2013 to restructure curriculum from two majors—applied plant sciences and horticulture—into a single major called plant science, and add an additional food systems major.

It costs as much as $140 million for Monsanto to release a new genetically modified crop, and from start to finish Angela Hendrickson Culler (Ph.D. Plant Biological Sciences ’07) ensures that crop is safe for people, animals, and the environment. Culler is the lead for Monsanto’s U.S. Biotech Regulatory Affairs department and was recently named one of the Saint Louis Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to their businesses and community. She manages a team of 25 people and is responsible for obtaining and maintaining global regulatory approvals for a $10 billion product portfolio.

Since its release in 1991, Honeycrisp has been harboring a secret: its parents are a mystery. Originally billed as the child of Macoun and Honeygold, researchers quickly discovered that neither of these varieties were the parents of Minnesota’s favorite apple. Now, 26 years after its introduction, graduate student Nick Howard (Applied Plant Sciences, Ph.D.) has finally uncovered Honeycrisp’s true lineage.

The third floor atrium is a hub of activity for Alderman Hall. This area is a popular spot to study, hold impromptu meetings, eat lunch, or wait for classes to begin — but it is sorely in need of updates and a redesign. Your support can help us create a more welcoming and functional space for building users. Our vision includes an expanded seating area and a flexible design to allow for a variety of uses.

Gifts up to $10,000 will be matched—doubling your impact. Give today!

Bailey Nurseries, a fifth-generation family-owned company, has been involved with the department for decades. They have provided plants for the display garden, scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students, and supported conferences hosted on campus. On October 6, the Bailey family was invited to campus to thank them for their myriad of contributions.

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Have a Story?

We’re always looking for new stories to include in our alumni newsletter. If you’re a current member of the department or an alumnus and you’re doing something interesting, tell us about it by emailing Echo Martin at mart1794@umn.edu