Four Names to Watch in Horticulture Research


Earlier this month, we profiled Melinda Knuth at North Carolina State University, who embodies the next wave of floriculture researchers and how they are making an impact on the industry. But Knuth is not the only one; keep reading to learn more about four other researchers who are working hard behind the scenes on your behalf.

Ryan Dickson, University of Arkansas

Ryan Dickson, University of Arkansas

Dr. Ryan Dickson, Assistant Professor of Greenhouse and Controlled-Environment Agriculture, University of Arkansas

  • Your main areas of research focus: Root zone health (pH and nutrients, soilless substrates, pathogens) of floriculture and hydroponic crops. Also, soft fruit crops grown in soilless substrates.
  • Your favorite part(s) of working in this industry: Interacting with growers. Before joining academia, I worked as a commercial propagator of floriculture crops, and I still cherish every opportunity to step foot in a commercial greenhouse/operation, learn from growers, and try to find ways to help and be involved.
  • What excites you the most about the future of floriculture? The industry is constantly evolving — I am excited to see what new opportunities await for growers and researchers in the years to come.
Joshua Craver, Colorado State University

Joshua Craver, Colorado State University

Dr. Joshua Craver, Assistant Professor of Controlled Environment Horticulture, Colorado State University

  • Your main areas of research focus: My research program focuses on enhancing the production of vegetable and floriculture crops in controlled environments, with an emphasis on lighting applications and CO2 enrichment.
  • Your favorite part(s) of working in this industry: My favorite part about working in this industry is the people. There is such a genuine sense of community, and I appreciate the emphasis placed on seeing our industry expand with the next generation of growers.
  • What excites you the most about the future of floriculture? It’s also the people. Through my teaching appointment at Colorado State and serving on American Floral Endowment’s Vic and Margaret Ball Internship Scholarship Program Selection Committee, it’s hard not to be excited about the future of our industry as I work with these students.
Garrett Owen, The Ohio State University

Garrett Owen, The Ohio State University

Dr. Garrett Owen, Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Sustainable Greenhouse and Nursery Systems, The Ohio State University

  • Your main areas of research focus: My main program initiatives include efficient floriculture and nursery crop propagation and production, plant nutrition and growth regulation, nutritional monitoring, sustainability, and grower education.
  • Your favorite part(s) of working in this industry: The opportunity to continuously learn, educate, and identify and address challenges. Additionally, I enjoy connecting with new and old friends. The industry is ever changing, which makes learning and connecting with friends, industry partners, and growers very exciting.
  • What excites you the most about the future of floriculture? The future of floriculture is very exciting. The heightened awareness of sustainability and the development and deployment of technologies of all levels creates a need to educate young, aspiring growers to become seasoned growers.
Qingwu Meng, University of Delaware

Qingwu Meng, University of Delaware

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Dr. Qingwu (William) Meng, Assistant Professor of Controlled-Environment Horticulture, University of Delaware

  • Your main areas of research focus: Lighting applications, environmental optimization, and nutrient management for greenhouse, indoor, and space production of floriculture and food crops. Recent research has focused on photoperiodic control of chrysanthemum and petunia flowering and biostimulant-enabled mitigation of calcium deficiency.
  • Your favorite part(s) of working in this industry: Driving practical research-based solutions to solve grower-relevant issues on resource use efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Having the opportunities to connect and collaborate with like-minded professionals to collectively propel the industry forward one step at a time.
  • What excites you the most about the future of floriculture? The combined forces of technological advancements as well as efforts to promote economic sustainability, address labor constraints, and attract and train new generations of growers.



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