The department has a diverse research program that offers a wide variety of opportunities for graduate study. Faculty have established expertise in five core areas of research that primarily deal with production, adaptation and improvement of horticultural plants and their impact on people and the environment.
Research on plant adaptations, tolerance and mechanisms of injury in relation to various environmental stresses and strategies to improve plant tolerance or to augment health-promoting phytochemicals in food crops.
Research on woodland and range management, parks, human dimensions of natural resource management and wildlife conservation, and applied wildlife management.
Research on developing strategies to use environmental stresses and biotechnology tools to augment health-promoting phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables and the use of gardening tasks for health maintenance and promotion.
Research on creating sustainable production systems for food crops and strengthening local food systems.
Research on identifying plants or management practices that improve efficiency while reducing inputs of water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
Sharp, R.L., Cleckner, L. & DiPillo, S.* (2016). The impact of on-site educational outreach on recreational users' perceptions of aquatic invasive species and their management. Environmental Education Research.
Sharp, R.L., Kurtz, J.* & Maples, J. (2016). Challenges and Opportunities Associated with a Long-Term Comparative Analysis of Campsites and Rockshelters in the Clifty Wilderness, KY, USA. International Journal of Wilderness, 22(1).
Skibins, J. C., Powell, R. B., & Hallo, J. C. (2016). Lucky 13: Conservation implications of broadening 'Big 5' flagship species recognition in East Africa. Journal of Sustainable Tourism.
Craver, J.K., C.T. Miller, K.A. Williams, and D. L. Boyle. 2014. Characterization and Comparison of Lesions on Ornamental Sweetpotato ‘Blackie’, Tomato ‘Maxifort’, Interspecific Geranium ‘Caliente Coral’, and Bat-faced Cuphea ‘Tiny Mice’. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci 139(5):603-615.
Ahlers AA, Miller CA, and Heske EJ. 2016. Economic influences on trapper participation and per capita harvest of muskrats. Wildlife Society Bulletin 40: 548-553.
Heske EJ and Ahlers AA. 2016. Raccoon (Procyon lotor) activity is predicted better by availability of water than by land cover in a moderately fragmented landscape. Northeastern Naturalist 23: 352-363.
Ahlers AA, Heske EJ, and Schooley RL. 2016. Prey distribution, potential landscape supplementation, and urbanization affect occupancy dynamics of American mink in streams. Landscape Ecology 31:1601-1613.
Y. Hu, Q. Wu, S. Sprague, J. Park, M.M. Oh, C. B. Rajashekar, H. Koiwa, P.A. Nakata, N. Cheng, K.D. Hirschi, F. White, and S. Park, 2015, Tomato expressing Arabidopsis glutarecdoxin gene ATGRXs17 confers tolerance to chilling stress via modulating cold responsive components, Horticulture Research- Nature publication 2, 15051; doi:101038/hortes.2015.51