New Appointments at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

VINELAND, ON, Jan. 21 /CNW/ - In 2006, at its inception, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre was a vision for the future. Today, the Centre's mandate to be an internationally-recognized horticulture research and innovation centre of excellence is being realized with a growing team of dedicated research and innovation experts. Building on Vineland's core disciplines of Consumer Insights and Product Innovations led by Dr. Isabelle Lesschaeve, Applied Genomics led by Dr. Daryl Somers, and Horticultural Production Systems led by Dr. Michael Brownbridge, Vineland is rapidly establishing research teams that will add value to Canadian horticulture. New appointments to Vineland are:

    Michael Kauzlaric, Horticulture Technology Scout
    Travis Banks, Research Scientist, Bioinformatics
    Dr. Rumen Conev, Research Scientist, Plant Breeding
    Dr. Ben Campbell, Research Scientist, Horticulture Economics
    Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, Research Scientist, Biological Control

"It is a pleasure to announce the addition of new staff to the Vineland team. These individuals bring their knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm to partnerships with our Canadian horticulture stakeholders and will help in building a stronger, more competitive industry," said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

Michael Kauzlaric, Horticulture Technology Scout is a native of the Niagara Region who grew up on a tender fruit and grape operation. Michael comes to Vineland with an Associate Diploma (Agr.) and a B.Sc. (Agr) from the University of Guelph, he will assist Vineland stakeholders in searching around the world for new technologies of value to the horticulture sector. Travis Banks, Research Scientist specializing in bioinformatics joins Vineland following seven years with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, his research will focus on integrating data from high-throughput molecular technologies into breeding programs, and developing software to facilitate scientific discovery.

Dr. Rumen Conev, Research Scientist Plant Breeding earned his PhD from the Plovdiv Agrarian University, Bulgaria, followed by postdoctoral research in Japan, Israel and Canada. Dr. Conev brings experience as Assistant Professor, Ornamental Plant Breeding at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to Vineland where he will develop germplasm with novel traits in high value crops. Dr. Ben Campbell, Research Scientist Horticulture Economics comes to Vineland from Texas A&M University where he completed post doctorate research. Dr. Campbell's work will target horticulture market expansion through the introduction of new or enhanced products.

Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, Research Scientist Biological Control, is an entomologist specializing in integrated pest management and biological control in horticulture. Dr. Buitenhuis received her PhD from Laval University, at Vineland she will focus on insect biocontrol beginning with biological thrips control in greenhouse ornamentals.

"Vineland has received significant support from both the federal and provincial governments. As our research capacity grows we also enhance our ability to partner effectively with research departments in both levels of government, industry and with academia and other research institutions. Together with these partners we are building a stronger research network that is accessible and responsive to the needs of Canadian horticulture industry from grower through to retail," said Donald Ziraldo, Chair, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.

About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in an independent, not-for-profit organization that was created to be a world-class centre for horticultural science and innovation. In its capacity to enable and foster relationships with industry, academia and government, Vineland works to deliver premium product and production innovations. Vineland brings a global perspective to the Canadian horticulture industry and offers a broad range of lasting benefits to stakeholders both locally and internationally. Aligned with industry needs, Vineland's research priorities and outcomes are focused on the growth of the entire horticulture industry.

SOURCE Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

For further information: For further information: Isabel Dopta, Director, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, (905) 562-0320, Ext. 791,,

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