Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Production Research
New appointments at VRIC

January 22, 2010  By Fruit & Vegetable

Jan. 22, 2010, Vineland, Ont. –

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," said Dr. Jim Brandle,
CEO, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. "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."

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 of 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

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