Dr. John Bukovac, Professor Emeritus
Joined the department
Dr. agr. honoris causa, University of Bonn, 1995
Postdoctoral Student, Oxford & Bristol Universities, 1965-1966
Ph.D. Michigan State University, 1957
M.S., Michigan State University, 1954
B.S. (With Honors), Michigan State University, 1951
Dr. Martin J. Bukovac served in the Department of Horticulture for forty years in research and teaching. He conducted both applied and basic research on the role of plant hormones on flower formation, fruit growth and development, and on the mechanisms of chemical penetration through plant cuticles. His work has led to several patents and practices currently in use by the horticultural industry, namely, regulation of flowering and fruit growth, promotion of fruit abscission, fruit thinning, and more efficient application and use of pesticide chemicals.
He has served as mentor to 37 graduate students and 45 postdoctoral and visiting scientists. Bukovac was a U.S. National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellow at Oxford and Bristol Universities, was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1983, received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Bonn in Germany in 1995 and was elected to the American Society for Horticultural Science Hall of Fame in 2001.
Bukovac is a member of numerous professional organizations: he served as President of the American Society for Horticultural Science and received awards from the American Horticultural Society, American Society for Horticultural Science, Michigan State Horticultural Society, American Society of Plant Physiologists, and Society for Engineering and Agriculture, Food and Biological Systems.
He frequently served as a guest speaker at symposia and congresses. He presented the keynote address in observance of the 75th Anniversary of the East Malling Research Station, England, and was selected as the USDA B. Y. Morrison Lecturer, the William Henry Hatch Memorial Lecturer, National Academy of Sciences Exchange Lecturer to Yugoslavia, Distinguished Lecturer, Department of Sciences and Technology in China and Foreign Scientific Lecturer, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara, Japan. He served as a short-term visiting professor at the universities of Guelph, New Mexico State, Oregon State and Ohio State. In 1986 Bukovac presented the undergraduate commencement address at Michigan State University; the University honored him by bestowing the Distinguished Faculty Award in 1972, and designation of University Distinguished Professor in 1992. In 1995, he conducted research in Germany having won the Humboldt Prize for Senior American Scientists. More recently he was awarded the Gold Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society, London (2003), and the Spiridon Brusina Medal by the Croatian Society for Natural Sciences, Zagreb (2004).
In retirement Dr Bukovac continues to maintain a limited research program by writing and working with colleagues and visiting scientists.