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Horticultural Science Extension Faculty

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Portrait Name & Summary
Lucy Bradley Dr. Lucy Bradley, Associate Professor. Urban horticulture, especially Master Gardeners, Extension agent support, and community gardens.
Richard Bonanno Dr. Richard Bonanno, Associate Dean of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.
Wayne Buhler Dr. Wayne Buhler, Interim Department Head and Professor. Director of the Southern Region Pesticide Safety Education Center. Responsibilites include development and distribution educational materials for the certification and recertification of North Carolina's Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicators and Dealers of restricted use pesticides.
Mark Clough Mr. Mark Clough, Focuses is on Irish (white) potato production, breeding and genetics, specifically on developing high quality potatoes adapted to North Carolina growing conditions. Mark is based at the Vernon G. James Research & Extension Center.
Danesha Carley Dr. Danesha Carley, Assistant Professor. Director for the Southern IPM Center. Her research, academic, and outreach programs focus on Sustainable Managed Landscapes. Recent projects include the restoration of historic Pinehurst No. 2 Golf Course, pollinator protection and habitat conservation, and water-stress tolerance in turfgrass and ornamental shrubs. She is also the NC IPM Coordinator and manages the EIP grant program for North Carolina.
Nancy Creamer Dr. Nancy Creamer, Professor. Director, Center for Environmental Farming Systems. Organic and sustainable vegetable production. Research focus on long-term comparative farming systems trials, organic transition strategies, using winter and summer cover crops in vegetable production systems, determining optimum cover crop mixtures, allelopathic suppression of weeds, and organic vegetable production.
Jeanine Davis Dr. Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist. Specialty crops, especially organic vegetable, fruit and herb production and a variety of non-timber forest products including mushrooms, hops, truffles, etc. Located at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center in Mills River, Dr. Davis helps farmers improve sustainability and profitability of their farms by optimizing organic production systems, introducing and developing new crops, and improving the sustainability of commercial vegetable production systems. Particular focus is on NC medicinal herbs.
Elizabeth Driscoll Ms. Elizabeth "Liz" Driscoll, Youth programs in Horticulture. Liz also coordinates youth programs for Crop Science, Soil Science and Entomology.
Rebecca Dunning Dr. Rebecca Dunning, Assistant Professor. Conducts socioeconomic research and project evaluation and provides leadership and support for food systems work at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems.
Barbara Fair Dr. Barbara Fair, Associate Professor. Landscape, especially water use in the landscape, wood plant identification, planting and maintenance, and plants for the urban environment.
Gina Fernandez Dr. Gina Fernandez, Professor. Strawberry and caneberry (blackberry and raspberry) production and breeding. Extension specialist for caneberries.
Lisa Forehand Ms. Lisa Forehand, CEFS Extension & Outreach Coordinator. Research and Extension interests include long-term comparative farming systems trials, organic transition strategies, using winter and summer cover crops in vegetable production systems.
Christopher Gunter Dr. Christopher Gunter, Associate Professor. Vegetable production, especially with tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, and broccoli, and food safety. Specializes in vegetable production for the commercial vegetable industry in North Carolina, working with commercial vegetable growers to maintain a high quality of life through the use of integrated, economical and environmentally sound production practices.
Katie Jennings Dr. Katie Jennings, Assistant Professor. Research area is weed management in small fruits and vegetables. Focus on herbicide efficacy and carryover, weed/crop competition, weed biology, and field residue studies.
Tom Kon Dr. Tom Kon, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist. Serves the southeastern apple industry to address technological needs. Research interests include: crop load and canopy management, pruning and training systems, rootstock evaluations, mechanization of orchard practices, pre-harvest drop control, and cultural/chemical practices to improve fruit quality.
Anthony Lebude Dr. Anthony LeBude, Associate Professor and Nursery Extension Specialist. Research focus is on developing new technologies for growers to understand and implement effective best management practices to optimize ecosystem services; and evaluating new plant introductions and cultivars for adaptation to the southeast.
Joanna Lelekacs Ms. Joanna Lelekacs, NC Cooperative Extension Coordinator for Local Foods. Extension and Training Coordinator for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems' (CEFS) NC Growing Together project that develops models for connecting small and mid-sized farmers with retail and military markets.
Joe Neal Dr. Joe Neal Professor and Departmental Extension Leader. Weed management in nursery crops. Christmas tree production, and landscape plantings. Research interests include: herbicide safety and efficacy in woody and herbaceous perennial plant production and maintenance, optimizing herbicide use patterns for effective weed control and environmental stewardship, ecology of weeds in soilless media and urban landscapes, integrated weed and ground cover management systems, and alternatives to traditional herbicides including plant pathogens for biological control of weeds.
Mike Parker Dr. Mike Parker, Associate Professor. Apple rootstocks, peaches and alternative tree fruit crops, primarily applied in nature. Areas of interest: cultural management strategies, rootstock performance in the southeast, peach thinning, planting systems and orchard floor management.
Jonathan Schultheis Dr. Jonathan Schultheis, Professor. Vegetable crop production and postharvest handling, especially with sweet potatoes and curcurbits. Development and optimization of cultural practices for commercial production of vegetables. Interests include stand establishment, plasticulture, developing new alternative crops, drip irrigation, nutrition, and seed physiology.
Sara Spayd Dr. Sara Spayd, Professor. Grape production and postharvest handling, both vinifera and muscadine types. Works with North Carolina grape industry with cultivars and cultural practices to optimize fruit quality. Research interests include fruit composition and quality as affected by vineyard management practices.
Allan Thornton Mr. Allan Thornton Vegetable production and handling. Allan is based at Sampson County Center.
Mark Weathington Mr. Mark Weathington JC Raulston Arboretum Director. Evaluation and use of landscape plants, especially woody plants.
Brian Whipker Dr. Brian Whipker, Interim Assistant Department Head and Professor. Floriculture production, especially plant growth regulators, plant nutrition and economics. Extension specialization includes providing production information and diagnostic services to commercial greenhouse floriculture operations.

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