Washington State University will interview three candidates in September for a new tree fruit physiology position based at the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee. The new researcher will focus on physiological mechanisms of tree fruit issues, such as fruit set and disorders.

The candidates are: Dr. Jozsef Racsko, horticultural and crop science program coordinator with Ohio State University in Wooster; Dr. Caixi Zhang, plant scientist at Shanghai Jiaotong University in China; and Dr. Steven McArtney, extension specialist with North Carolina State University in Mills River.

Zhang will be in Washington for interviews with WSU faculty September 2 to 6. Racsko will be interveiwed September 8 to 12, and McArtney will be at in Washington September 22 to 26.

Dr. Jay Brunner, director of the Wenatchee center, said the successful candidate will focus on basic research to complement the work of Dr. Stefano Musacchi, who recently joined the faculty as pomologist, and to support the university’s apple breeding program. This position is not one of the endowed chairs that will be funded through a special grower assessment.

The university is also seeking candidates for a plant pathology position at the center. Interviews have not yet been scheduled.