You can’t visit a nursery, greenhouse, or your neighbor’s back porch without seeing them: black plastic pots. Department of Horticultural Science graduate student takes issue with that blind acceptance in defense of the root system. George Guenthner tries to find an answer to the burning question: just how much heat can a root system take?
Like many students, Melanie Ruha was not exposed to horticulture until partway through college. She never thought horticulture was something you could make a career of. Internships, scholarships, and study abroad opportunities helped to solidify her choice of majors and guide her career plans.
Herman Cohen was an accomplished horticultural professional whose life and career touched almost all areas of horticultural science, including gardening, plant breeding, landscapes, floriculture, and plant and soil relationships. His son, Jerry Cohen, a professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota, is keeping his father’s legacy and love of horticulture alive by establishing the Herman Charles Cohen fund for graduate education.
Alaska: A home not only to enormous glaciers and wild salmon, but to a wide and unique variety of plant life. This was the destination for Horticultural Science professor Neil O. Anderson in fall of 2017 and again this spring, with the goal of expanding the germplasm collection for his chrysanthemum breeding program. Anderson’s focus species was Chrysanthemum arcticum and its two subspecies, commonly known as the arctic daisy, all of which grow primarily in coastal areas within the “last frontier” of the United States.
Abigail Diering, a Plant Science and Chemistry major from Denver, Colorado, speaks enthusiastically about her experience working in two Horticultural Science research laboratories. Her interest in plant research can be traced back to one of her first classes at the University of Minnesota: Plant Propagation, Horticultural Science’s introductory course covering the fundamentals of plant biology and a wide variety of growing techniques.
Bees need flowers and flowers need bees. This is one of the simplest lessons of the natural world, but as a graduate student in the Department of Horticultural Science, Nathan Hecht wants to know more about what this means specifically for Minnesota food production. How can our understanding of ecology inform the way we design our agricultural systems? That is, how can we create agricultural landscapes that are both more productive and sustainable?
When CFANS alumnus Garrett McCormick (B.S. Food Systems, 2015) was just fourteen, he began taking probiotics and noticed a big change in how he felt: he had more energy and he was ill less frequently. Years later, after meeting Amanda Pederson (B.S. Nutrition, 2016) in a cooking class at the University of Minnesota, they turned this insight into their careers.
Using the Past to Change the Future: Alex Liebman researches Colombian agricultural policy to inform future legislation
When APS master’s student Alex Liebman, co-advised by Nick Jordan and Julie Grossman, traveled to Colombia to work at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), he planned to study how soil carbon changes over time and with the introduction of new plants. While there Liebman found himself asking questions about how Colombia’s landscape had changed, how 60 years of civil war affected local farmers, and the relationship between agricultural policy and institutions like CIAT.
Why don’t homeowners buy low-input, more sustainable turfgrass? Do genetic markers really save apple breeders money? Will people spend more money on produce grown with aquaponics? These kinds of questions are vital to the real-world success of applied plant research, but they require an entirely different kind of science: economics. Professor Chengyan Yue’s work in horticultural marketing bridges the gap between economic realities and applied horticultural research.
The Department of Horticultural Science is excited to welcome Laura Shannon as our newest faculty member, studying potato breeding and genetics.