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Candidates for Research Division Vice President
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Candidates for Research Division Vice President

Dean A. Kopsell

Plant Sciences Department
The University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA


ASHS Member since 1995. BS 1992, Illinois State University; MS 1995, University of Georgia; PhD 1999, University of Georgia.

Positions: Assistant Professor, 2000–04, University of New Hampshire; Assistant Professor, 2004–08, Associate Professor, 2008–13, Professor, 2013–present, University of Tennessee.

ASHS Activities: Committees: Technical Program Committee, 2012–15; Outstanding Vegetable Publication Award Committee, 2007–10; Nominations and Elections Committee–Research Division, 2004–06. Working Groups: Growth Chambers and Controlled Environments, Secretary, 2012–13, Chair-elect, 2013–14, Chair, 2014–15; Environmental Stress Physiology, Chair-elect: 2005–06; Chair: 2006–07; Produce Quality, Safety, and Health Properties, Secretary: 2007, Chair-elect: 2007–08, Chair: 2008–09; Vegetable Crop Management, Secretary: 2009–10, Chair-elect: 2010–11, Chair: 2011–12. Conference Activities: 2003, 2005, 2006, Oral Session Moderator; 2009–12, Undergraduate Mentor Volunteer; 2007, Symposium Organizer/chair; 2008, Workshop Organizer/chair; 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, Judge for poster or oral student competitions. NE-ASHS Activities: Member, Nominations Committee, 2002; Graduate Student Awards Committee, 2002–03, Chair, 2003.

Honors and Awards: Plant Growth Regulators Society of America—Young Scientist Award sponsored by Valent BioSciences, 2014; J.E. Moss Achievement Award for Research–UTIA, 2013; Elected to Academy of Achievement–Illinois State University, College of Applied Science and Technology, 2011; Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award of Merit, 2010; Quest Scholar–UT Knoxville, Office of Research, 2009; T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award–UTIA, 2009; Excellence in Doctoral Research and Writing (Krezdorn) Award–SR-ASHS, 1998; Gamma Sigma Delta Member,1995–present.

Research Activities and Experience: Research focuses on improving the nutritional value of specialty crops, with emphasis on genetic and environmental factors that impact nutritionally important phytonutrients. Projects include enhancement of specialty crops with selenium (Se), impacts of mineral nutrient fertility on secondary metabolites, impacts of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on levels of nutritionally important primary and secondary metabolites in specialty crops, impacts of plant growth regulators and herbicides on plant pigment accumulations, and impacts of genetic and environmental factors on chlorophyll and carotenoid pigment accumulations in leafy specialty crops. Author or co-author of five book chapters, 93 refereed journal articles, 12 proceeding or trade journal articles, and 66 abstracts at professional meetings. Presenter or co-presenter of 138 presentations to scientific audiences. Served as advisor, co-advisor, or member on 46 graduate student committees (11 PhD; 35 MS). Authored or co-authored three invention disclosures and four provisional patents. Invited grant review panel member for USDA-NIFA, 2009 and 2010. Editorial board member for the Journal of Plant Nutrition, 2006–present. Editorial board member for Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 2007–present. Member of International Scientific Committee, Vitamins 2007—7th International Conference, The University of Pardubice, Pardubice, Czech Republic, 2006–07. Member of Editorial Board for “Proceeding of the 2nd International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables”, Acta Horticulturae vol. 841, 2009.

Other Professional Activities: Member, Southern Region-ASHS, 2005–present; Member, Northeast Region–ASHS, 2000–04; Member, International Carotenoid Society, 2003–present; Member, NACTA, 2000–present; NACTA New Hampshire State Coordinator, 2002–04; Research Coordinator, UT Plant Sciences Department, 2008–10; Chair, UTIA Plant Variety Release Committee, 2008–13; Member, UTIA Research Metrics Committee, 2011–13; Lead21 Class VIII, 2012–13.

Statement: I am truly humbled to be considered a candidate for the Research Division Vice President for the American Society for Horticultural Science. I have been active in horticultural research for over 20 years and ASHS has been an integral part of my professional development as a research scientist. The experiences I have had at the annual conferences, the interactions with society members on committees and in working groups, and the collaborative relationships that have developed have all had indelible impressions on my professional career.

It is a very exciting time to be in horticultural research, but it is not without challenges. The major challenges I see for horticultural research are: keeping current with instrumentation and computational technology; keeping research programs relevant to modern production systems; and reducing the financial burdens now being shifted to principle investigators. The good news is that ASHS can, and has, helped in all of these areas. In the past, significant advances in science were achieved once technology caught up with ideas. Now, the dynamics have reversed. We all seem to be trying to catch up with technology to see how it can be used or applied to solve new problems. Staying up to date with instrumentation and computational technology is now vital to the long-term success of any research program. Active involvement in ASHS offers the opportunity to connect and collaborate with the top scientists from around the world. Re-evaluating research goals to stay relevant in horticultural industries will always be a future need in our discipline. The applied nature of horticulture allows for close connections to industry and stakeholder organizations. These organizations are also some of the best sources for research ideas and provide opportunities to make significant contributions to domestic and foreign sectors. Staying active in ASHS and attending the annual and regional conferences provide access to industry partners and the opportunities to network with the commercial side of our discipline. Another important part of staying relevant is increasing the collaborative research efforts in allied disciplines. Horticulture easily connects with food science, medicine, engineering, urban planning, forestry, and business. Funding is critical to drive research programs and the pressures on faculty for external research dollars are greater than ever. Members within ASHS conceptualized, formulated, and advocated the innovative Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) program within USDA-NIFA, which is proof positive of the strong influence of our society. It is no accident that our society’s headquarters is located in close proximity to major funding entities and congressional offices. Collectively, we need to continue to advocate for horticultural research and the impacts that our work has on local, national, and international communities.

Like most of you, I grew up in horticulture. My family owned and operated an ornamental nursery in Northern Illinois. But, examples of those early connections are disappearing with the urbanization of our country. Where will the next generation of horticultural scientists come from? As researchers, we must be obligated to train the next generation of scientists. One of the things that I have loved about ASHS is the seamlessness across working groups and across divisions. This is much different from other, larger scientific societies. I know we are all aware of the group effort it will take among the divisions to help prepare for the future of horticultural research. As Research Division Vice President, I would be committed to maintaining the strong connections among divisions of the society and to work with the other officers for programming to develop future scientists.

"Better Things for Better Living...Through Chemistry” was the advertising slogan for DuPont for nearly 50 years. Like all good advertising slogans that have stood the test of time, it is simple yet very informative. If you visit the ASHS web site, you will see another example of a great slogan. Our society mantra is “Science for Specialty Crops”. It is also simple and informative. But, behind our society slogan is a membership with thousands of researchers conducting tens of thousands of research projects. A major challenge we face as a Society and as science researchers is how to get others interested in moving past our slogan to discover more about who we are, what we do, and how we can help. If selected as the Research Division Vice President, I will be strongly committed to advocate the importance of, and the needs for, horticultural research to our government representatives, funding agencies and organizations, our peer scientific societies, and the general public.


Carolyn F. Scagel

Research Plant Physiologist
USDA-ARS, Horticultural Crops Research Unit
Corvallis, Oregon, USA


ASHS Member since 2001. BS 1984 (Biology and Forestry), University of British Columbia; PhD 1994 (Botany and Plant Pathology), Oregon State University.

Positions: Research Technician, Botany, University of British Columbia, 1982–84; Research Assistant, Forestry, University of British Columbia, 1984; Graduate Teaching Assistant, Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, 1984–87; Graduate Research Assistant, Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, 1987–92; Senior Scientist, ManTech Environmental Research Services/Dynamac International Corporation, US-EPA-NHEERL, Corvallis, OR, 1992–96; Postdoctoral Research Associate, USDA-ARS, Horticultural Crops Research Unit, 1996–98; Research Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS, Horticultural Crops Research Unit, 1998–present.

ASHS Activities: 2003–present, Consulting Editor, Soil-Plant-Water Relationships Section, Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. Reviewed >360 papers. Root Growth and Rhizosphere Dynamics Working Group member, 2011. Presented 12 talks ASHS Annual Conferences.

Other Professional Activities: Associate member of Executive Board, Western Region International Plant Propagators’ Society, 1999. Organizing Committee member, International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) 2008 Vaccinium Symposium, 2006–08. Review Editorial Board of Frontiers in Agricultural Biological Chemistry, a section of Frontiers in Chemistry, 2013–present. ARS representative on Office of International Programs collaborative project between ARS and scientists in the former Soviet Union (OIRP-ARS-FSU). Courtesy faculty appointment in the Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis. Currently co-advising and providing technical guidance to one Masters student. Served on graduate committee of four PhD students. External thesis examiner for PhD candidates at the University of Kuopio, 2001; University of Helsinki 2003; University of Melbourne, 2007–09; Russian Scientific Academy, 2014.

Honors: Northwest Applied Environmental Science Fellowship, 1986. National Research Council of Canada Graduate Research Fellowship, 1988–90. Co-author for EPA Scientific and Technological Achievement Level II Publication Award, 1996. Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation Fellowship for Co-operative Research Programme: Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, 2004; Co-author for American Society of Enology and Viticulture Best Viticulture Paper Award, 2009; Co-author for ASHS Outstanding Cross-Commodity Publication Award, 2010.

Research Activities: High-quality products from horticultural crop are demanded by U.S. consumers and are needed by growers to remain competitive in a global market. Irrigation and nutrients are needed for profitable, high-quality production of horticultural crops. Currently, growers have many questions regarding the management of water and nutrients in nursery and small fruit crops and are searching for sustainable alternatives to enhance production and quality of their products. Lack of information on water and nutrient requirements for many of these crops hinders the development of economically and environmentally sustainable production practices. I conduct research targeted at resolving horticultural problems by expanding basic knowledge of physiological processes. It is my goal to integrate research findings and existing theories in a manner that bridges the gap between basic science and its potential for application.

I have over 20 years of experience performing research on crop quality across several areas including forestry, nursery production (forest, ornamental, and small fruit), field crop systems (small fruit, shade tree, and tree fruit), and most recently culinary and medicinal herbs. I have authored/coauthored 64 peer-reviewed papers (22published in ASHS journals), 19 proceedings papers, 2 book chapters, 10 popular press articles, and 11 abstracts. I have co-edited 1 book, and have had 22 invitations to present research by professional societies and numerous invitations to present research to grower organizations. As PI/co-PI, received over $1.9 M in funding ($246,000 direct to program) from 15 sources.

Statement: While growing up in British Columbia, Canada, I was surrounded by an abundance of native vegetation, a historically large forest resource industry, and a rapidly expanding horticultural industry. In this diverse environment I developed a curiosity for understanding why plants flourish in certain conditions but not others and an appreciation for the impact of plant success or performance on natural resources, food production, and regional economy.

At the University of British Columbia, my enthusiasm for plants became more focused on the “hidden-half”—roots. I viewed root growth and function as a rate-limiting factor in the success of many crops, particularly perennial crops, and felt that increased basic knowledge of root function had a potential for impact across multiple crops and disciplines. As a graduate student at Oregon State University, I realized the naivety of my vision when faced not only with the hands-on complexity of root research but also the huge challenge of extending laboratory research into application.

Although working with roots is a constant challenge, throughout my career I have worked to connect the fundamental scientific aspects of my research to practical applications, commonly encouraging grower involvement in research to facilitate technology transfer and to determine whether scientific or statistical significance indeed is related to practical significance. I believe the connection of basic science to application is one of the largest challenges we face in horticultural research. While it is obvious that greater knowledge of the basic processes that occur in the soil-plant-atmosphere system are important to improvements in crop production, the timelines for this type of research to truly impact production are generally greater than growers can afford to wait. This means there needs to be a balance between the long-term and short-term priorities for horticultural research. Defining this balance, communicating it to growers, funding agencies, and other researchers can sometimes be a challenge. ASHS working groups help provide this type of balance by improving communication amongst researchers, increasing cross-commodity collaboration and enhancing efforts in identifying critical research needs and selection of research priorities.

I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for Research Division Vice President for the American Society for Horticultural Science. As an employee of the USDA-ARS, I have a strong commitment towards setting research priorities that develop solutions to agricultural problems and improving information dissemination to growers and the public. This commitment is complementary to the duties required for a Research Division Vice President in ASHS, and if elected I look forward to extending my abilities to fulfill this role for our society.


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