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American Society for Horticultural Science past-president Fred Davies presents Beth Mitcham with the award for Outstanding International Horticulturist on August 4, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. <b>(Courtesy UC Davic-Horticulture Innovation Lab)</b>

American Society for Horticultural Science past-president Fred Davies presents Beth Mitcham with the award for Outstanding International Horticulturist on August 4, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Courtesy UC Davic-Horticulture Innovation Lab)

Four postharvest physiologists fared well in early August, gaining recognition for their work during the American Society for Horticultural Science annual conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Elizabeth Mitcham was named Outstanding International Horticulturist. She is director of the Postharvest Technology Center and HortCRSP, both international programs at the University of California, Davis.

“She has an outstanding research and extension program in postharvest handling of fruit crops and is a valued member of the UC–Davis community and a well-respected international horticulturist,” the citation says.

“The Postharvest Technology Center supports a highly visited website (http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu) that … is the premier source of information worldwide for postharvest professionals,” according to the citation. “The Postharvest Technology Center and website aim to address postharvest needs in the developed world as well as the developing world.”

Randy Beaudry and Chris Watkins were named Fellows of the society.

Beaudry is the coordinator of the Michigan State University Apple Maturity Program, researching storage disorders and making recommendations on harvest maturity and storage conditions.

He is coordinator of the bi-annual MSU Controlled Atmosphere and Storage Clinic, which draws North American postharvest physiologists who discuss findings and recommendations, with a heavy focus on Honeycrisp in recent years.

Watkins, with Cornell University, works in a similar capacity in New York State, focusing on physiological disorders in apples, addressing harvest maturity management, postharvest handling, and storage technologies. He was a leader in developing practices allowing commercial use of 1-methylcyclopropene  (1-MCP or Smartfresh.)

Penelope Perkins-Veazie was named Outstanding Researcher. Her research at North Carolina State University focuses on postharvest storage and physiology of fruits and vegetables and the preservation of phytochemicals during storage.

“Her collaborations with John Clark, University of Arkansas, led to the evaluation and establishment of blackberry varieties having a 3-week shelf life, compared to a 2-day shelf life, helping to move the industry to establish a year-round market place for fresh-market blackberries, valued at some $147 million annually,” according to the citation.

Dr. Joan Davenport

Dr. Joan Davenport

Joan Davenport, also elected a fellow of the society, is a researcher and educator in the field of crop yield and quality at Washington State University’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Washington.

“Davenport’s research has focused on nutrient cycling through soil-plant systems in perennial fruit crops, with an emphasis on site-specific management of plant stress,” according to the citation.