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Speaker: John Erwin, Professor/Chair - Plant Science, Landscape Architecture

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    John Erwin

    Professor and Chair, Plant Science & Landscape Architecture at University of Maryland


    • B.S. Ornamental Horticulture Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture (1983)
    • M.S. Horticulture Michigan State University (1986)
    • PhD. Horticulture Michigan State University (1989)

    My scholarship is grounded in a strong belief in the importance of the Land-grant mission to society.  My research around environmental plant physiology addresses current and future societal and industry concerns; two such concerns are negative high temperature impacts on crop yield, and reducing agricultural chemical application to benefit our communities and the environment.  For instance, annual Maryland temperatures increased 1.8oF, and Baltimore sea levels increased 30 cm since 1895 (Figure 1); every 1oC increase in day temperature, reduces crop yield 2.5-16% (Battisti & Naylor, 2009).  Over-application of fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorus, in particular), as well as pesticides/fungicides can negatively impact surrounding natural ecosystems (such as the Chesapeake Bay) and ground and surface water that can impact ecosystem and human health.  In addition, increases in labor costs are reducing farm profitability.  Taken together, my research aims to 1) reduce negative impacts of high temperature on crop yield by accelerating high temperature tolerant crop development through molecular and traditional breeding techniques, to 2) reduce chemical, energy and labor crop production inputs while increasing postharvest life, and to 3) introduce new drought and/or heat tolerant crops.

    University of Maryland -- Agriculture, Plant Science & Landscape Architecture
    Founded in 1856, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is the Cornerstone of the University of Maryland. Learn about our rich history, our current initiatives, our talented students, and our passionate faculty and staff.

    4291 Fieldhouse Dr BLDG 2104 College Park, MD 20742
    Email:     Contact:   John Erwin
    Phone:  301-405-3341   FAX: