Ornamental and Landscape Ecology
Consumer and market research, marketing and business management.
- Water and nutrient management of shade trees and conifers in Pot-in-Pot production
- Production of ash replacement species
- Promotion of increased tree species diveristy in urban and community forests
- Movement and distribution of trunk-injected systemic insecticides for EAB
- Ornamental conifers
Water management and quality for nursery production including source water quality, irrigation management and runoff water quality and management.
North Central Development Committee 216, Founding member 2008, Chair, 2008 – 2010; Past-chair 2010 - present: Co-developer of multi-state project Water Management and Quality for Ornamental Crop Production and Health. I initiated this project with Dr. John Lea-Cox of the University of Maryland in Feb. 2008 with the intent of focusing on water management and quality concerns at a national level related to the ornamental industry. The purpose is to foster multi-institution and multi-disciplinary research and outreach in this focus area. Currently the development committee consists of members from all 4 national regions including members from all ten of the top ten nursery production states. This has now been approved and assigned the designation NC 1186.
Understanding the effects of landscape (arable and non-arable) management on changes in soil conditions and nematode community structure with particular emphasis on the balance between beneficial and herbivore nematodes, nutrient cycling and C-sequestration. The goal is to use nematodes as indicators of soil ecosystem changes in time and space and develop integrated soil adjustment markers that can be used to remedy soil conditions.
Environmental Stress Tolerance
Being sessile organisms, plants are often subjected to suboptimal or supraoptimal environmental conditions, including temperature, light intensity and water availability. My lab is interested in developing plants with increased tolerance to environmental stresses, particularly temperature stress. This includes using model systems to understand the mechanisms plants use to tolerate stressful environments, and applying this knowledge for the improvement of horticultural crops.
Increasing Efficiency of Greenhouse Crop Production
Greenhouse growers produce literally hundreds of different crops simultaneously. These crops typically need to be scheduled to flower within a narrow time window for holiday or spring sales. I am interested in understanding how light and temperature impact crop growth and development and how manipulation of these environmental variables can be used to increase precision of crop scheduling and maximize crop production efficiency.