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Washington State University Factsheets

Doctor of Philosophy in Horticulture

Faculty working with Students: 34
Students: 22
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 100%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall January 10
  • Spring July 1
Campus:
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • 80 TOEFLiBT Minimum score
  • 8.5 TOEFL Essentials Minimum score
  • 60 TOEFL paper Minimum score (new scoring)
  • 7 IELTS Minimum score

Degree Description:

All doctoral candidates conduct independent research leading to a dissertation, with the objective of making a major contribution to the body of scientific knowledge in Horticulture. Portions of the dissertation research are normally published in peer-reviewed journals. Students in this degree option are expected to have completed a research-based master’s degree or to have equivalent research experience prior to enrolling in the doctoral program.

Admission Requirements:

Submit the following to the Graduate School: Letter of application stating qualifications, personal goals, and objectives of graduate study; official copies of all college transcripts; and three letters of recommendation.

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

  1. To prepare students to enter the many and varied professions of horticulture and/or its related fields, the program provides students with:
    • Advanced knowledge and skills necessary to function as a creative and professional practitioner, communicator, educator, or investigator in the field of horticulture.
    • Intellectual means of identifying and assessing the interactions among the many issues associated with horticulture and society at large.
    • Skills and intellectual means of contributing new knowledge to the profession of horticulture.
  2. To prepare students to be successful researchers in horticultural science and/or related fields, the program provides students with:
    • Ability to design, conduct, analyze, and communicate a research plan and results.
    • Critical thinking skills and ability to question or re-evaluate current thinking and standards related to horticultural science.
    • Skills to identify, locate, and apply knowledge discovered from horticultural science and related fields of study.
    • Opportunities to develop and communicate scientific hypotheses and problem solving.

Career Opportunities:

University faculty positions; Federal and state agricultural laboratories; Extension specialists; Management positions in allied and agricultural industries; Technical positions; Postdoctoral positions.

Career Placements:

Assistant professor/assistant landscape specialist, University of Hawaii;
Assistant professor, Penn State University;
Product specialist, Thermo Electron Corporation, San Jose, CA;
Extension educator, WSU Extension, Adams/Grant county, WA;
Director of new market development, AgroFresh, Inc., Springhouse, PA;
Research plant physiologist, Eastern Regional Research Laboratory, USDA/ARS, Philadelphia, PA

Faculty Members:

Blauer, Jacob, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Research Interests

Potato physiology.

Bondada, Bhaskar, Ph.D.

Location: Tri-Cities

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Anatomy and morphology of grapevine and berry, foliar applications of nutrients, water and nutrient transport into berry, berry growth and development, hydraulic architecture of vine and berry, ampelography, effect of management practices on fruit quality.

Carpenter-Boggs, Lynne, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Biologically improving crop and soil health, and sustainable use of agricultural by-products.

Chalker-Scott, Linda K, Ph.D.

Location: Puyallup Research and Extension Centeer

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Environmental stress physiology, ecophysiology of plants in disturbed environments, and especially in the sustainable management of human-altered landscapes. Particular interest in testing horticultural products under controlled, scientific conditions to support or disprove marketing claims.

Collins, Tom, Ph.D.

Location: Tri-Cities

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Analytical instrumentation and multivariate statistical tools to study the composition of grapes, wines and distilled spirits. Evaluation of composition changes while fruit ripens, throughout the winemaking and distilling processes, and as these products age. The goal is to better understand how vineyard, winery and distillery practices affect the composition of grapes, wines and spirits and to correlate chemical composition with sensory perception of these products.

Coyne, Clarice, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Mapping and characterization of plant disease resistance genes in pea and chickpea; genomic approaches to plant germplasm characterization.

Devetter, Lisa Wasko, Ph.D.

Location: Mount Vernon Northwestern Research and Extension Center

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Physiology and sustainable production of berry crops in the Pacific Northwest. Program emphasis is on maximizing productivity and fruit quality, as well as ensuring the health of adjacent natural resources critical for berry crop production.

Du, Liqun

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Evans, Katherine M, Ph.D.

Location: Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Pome fruit breeding, genetics, genomics and germplasm analysis.

Ficklin, Steve, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

1) Improvement of the sensitivity and specificity of the models. This requires use of new statistical and computation methods to improve algorithms.
2) Through use of systems-genetics models, develop sets of gene targets of interest to breeders that can be used for crop improvement.
3) Creation of cyberinfrastructure to improve access and use of systems-genetics datasets. Specifically, to expand Tripal (http://tripal.info), an the open-source toolkit for creation of online genomic and genetic databases (of which I serve as a lead developer), to support systems genetics data sets.

Harbertson, James, Ph.D.

Location: WSU Tri-Cities

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

My laboratory works on grape (Vitis vinifera) and wine composition. We primarily focus on phenolic compounds in grapes and wine and their biochemical and chemical changes during ripening, winemaking and aging. Phenolic compounds are important to wine, for their influence on sensorial aspects including bitterness, astringency, color, and aroma. Phenolics are also important for their influence on the preservation of wine and health related aspects.

Jr, David Robert Rudell, Ph.D.

Location: Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Quantitative measurement of dynamic multiparametric metabolic responses of living systems to physiological stimuli or genetic modification

Jung, Sook, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

–Computational analysis of genome evolution and comparative genomics in Rosaceae and other eukaryotes
–Develop sharable data storage and display principles and web interfaces and tools for genetic, genomic and breeding databases.

Kalcsits, Lee, Ph.D.

Location: Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Tree fruit physiology, abiotic stress, plant nutrition, impacts of preharvest environment on postharvest physiology.

Keller, Markus, Ph.D.

Location: WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Viticulture, influence of environmental factors and management practices on crop physiology of wine and juice grapes, reproductive development, fruit ripening, scion-rootstock interactions, irrigation management.

Kumar, Mohan G, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Vegetable Crops/Potato Physiology
Postharvest/Senescence/Aging Physiology
Plant Propagation/Nutrition
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
Nutraceutical/medicinal plants

LaHue, Gabriel, Ph.D.

Location: Mount Vernon Northwestern Research and Extension Center

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

My research program focuses on soil-water relations, soil fertility, and water-nutrient interactions.

Main, Doreen, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Bioinformatics, plant comparative genomics, development of a comparative mapping database for rosaceaous crops, synteny conservation of resistance genes in Rosaceae, global analysis of functional units in plant chromosomes, development of plant bioinformatics analysis tools.

Mattheis, James Peter, Ph.D.

Location: Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Postharvest physiology of apples, pears and cherries. Ongoing topics of research include assessment of various fruit physiological and quality factors as indicators of fruit harvest maturity, determination of appropriate maturity indices for new fruit varieties grown in the Pacific Northwest, characterization of fruit responses to stressful storage environments and identification of principle volatiles produced by fruit as indicators of physiological condition. Preharvest field research includes the study of apple and pear fruit blossom physiology.

McCord, Per, Ph.D.

Location: Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Stone fruit breeding and genetics.

McGee, Rebecca, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

My research focuses on breeding and genetics of pulse crops – primarily spring-sown peas and lentils and autumn-sown peas, lentils and chickpeas. The main emphasis of my breeding programs is developing high yielding, adapted varieties with resistance to biotic stresses (soil borne pathogens, aphid-vectored viral diseases, foliar fungal pathogens) as well as the abiotic stresses of heat, cold and drought stress. End use quality characteristics, including Biofortification for mineral nutrients, is also addressed.

Miles, Carol Ann, Ph.D.

Location: Mount Vernon Northwestern Research and Extension Center

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

High value vegetable crops, including wasabi, pea shoots, edamame, niche-market dry beans, icebox watermelon, leafy greens, grafted vegetables; plasticulture; hard cider.

Moyer, Michelle M, Ph.D.

Location: WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Viticulture Production (wine and juice grapes), Extension and Outreach Education in Viticulture, Decision Support Systems for Viticulture

Musacchi, Stefano, Ph.D.

Location: Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Tree fruit physiology, management, and variety development.

Navarre, Duroy, Ph.D.

Location: Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

– Molecular and biochemical basis of potato disease resistance and the nutritional enhancement of potatoes.
– Systemic acquired resistance and salicylic acid-mediate signaling, along with analysis of the role of plant small molecules in pathogen and pest interactions.

Pavek, Mark Joseph, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Potato cultural management systems including fertility, plant spacing and depth, irrigation and crop protection chemicals, variety development.

Peace, Cameron, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Tree fruit molecular breeding, genetics, genomics, and germplasm analysis, especially for fruit quality.

Poovaiah, B W, Ph.D.

Location: Pullman

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Calcium/calmodulinmediated signaling in plants, particularly the functional significance of genes involved in this signal network.

Serra, Sarah, Ph.D.

Location: Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Tree physiology, orchard management and fruit quality on several fruit trees: sweet cherry, apricot, peach and especially apple and pear.

Torres, Carolina, Ph.D.

Location: Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Tree fruit post harvest physiology.

Waters, Timothy David, Ph.D.

Location: Franklin County

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Pest Management in Vegetable Crops
Vegetable Variety Development
Alternative Cropping Systems
Potato and Vegetable Production

Whiting, Matthew David, Ph.D.

Location: WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Prosser

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Stone fruit physiology and production systems.

Wohleb, Carrie, Ph.D.

Location: Grant County

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Potato, vegetable, and seed crop extension specialist.

Zasada, Inga, Ph.D.

Location: Corvallis, OR

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Development of management strategies for plant-parasitic nematodes affecting high value horticultural crops

Contact Information:

Academic Coordinator
CAHNRS Academic Programs, Graduate Center
Pullman, WA 99164