February 15, 2010
Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has announced five new members to its growing research team.

“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 build a stronger, more competitive industry,” said Dr. Jim Brandle, CEO.

The five appointments include: Michael Kauzlaric, Travis Banks, Dr. Rumen Conev, Dr. Ben Campbell, and Dr. Rose Buitenhuis.

Dr. Conev earned his PhD from the Plovdiv Agrarian University, Bulgaria, followed by postdoctoral research in Japan, Israel and Canada. He brings experience in ornamental plant breeding at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He will work to develop germplasm with novel traits in high value crops.

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

Kauzlaric is a native of the Niagara region, who grew up on a tender fruit and grape operation. He comes to Vineland with an Associate Diploma (Agr.) and a B.Sc. (Agr) from the University of Guelph. Kauzlaric will assist Vineland stakeholders in searching for new technologies of value to the horticulture sector.

Banks specializes in bioinformatics. He joins Vineland following seven years with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. His research will focus on integrating data from molecular technologies into breeding programs, and developing software to facilitate scientific discovery.

Dr. Campbell, Research Scientist Horticulture Economics, comes to Vineland from Texas A&M University, where he completed post doctorate research. His work will target horticulture market expansion through the introduction of new or enhanced products.

“As our research capacity grows, we also enhance our ability to partner with research departments in both levels of government, industry and with academia and other research institutions. 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.