PSLA in the News

  • Campus-Wide Seminar 9/21: Hilside Road, Then and Now


  • Campus-Wide Seminar 4/27: Feeding UConn: From Farm to Dining Hall


  • Check out undergrad David Rascati!

    Rascati, a PSLA student concentrating in horticulture, set up an exhibit this past weekend for Metanoia. His art exhibit was titled Ecocentric Expression, and focused on the relationship between humanity and the environment through works of art.  Many ideas such as anthropcentrism, ecocentrism, and environmental education in western cultures are explored.  Below is a photo of some of his work.


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  • Landscape Architecture Senior Design Presentations 4/23


  • UConn Landscape Architecture Students Offer Design Ideas for Baltic

    On Wednesday, April 18th, a group of UConn LA students presented their ideas to the town of Baltic, CT for an old, partially destroyed Mill site.  These design ideas included different variations of multi-use buildings containing office, retail, and residential space, green space, and even a brewery.  These designs will bring housing, jobs, and a younger demographic to the Baltic area.  To read more about this project, click here.




  • UConn's Mark Brand Wins Patent for Black Chokeberry Cultivars

    Mark Brand has successfully patented two modified versions of the Black Chokeberry to make them more useful for landscaping purposes.  One cultivar is shorter, denser, and more adaptable to its environment and the second is a taller variety to create shrub borders.  To read more about Brand's new patented cultivars, click here.





  • Upcoming Seminar April 13th





  • Invitation for Graduate Students

    Late-stage PhD students and postdoctoral scholars are invited to participate in the New England Future Faculty Workshop for Underrepresented Groups in STEM field (NE-FFW).  This even takes place on the Northeastern University campus in Boston, MA on July 10th 2018. 

    The NE-FFW is focused on the academic job search.  This workshop includes faculty-led interactive discussions and peer-to-peer interactions.  These workshops will include topics such as:  Finding Your Institutional Fit, Standing Out in the Interview, Reviewing CVs, Developing a Research Statement, Negotiating the Job Offer, and more.


    To participate in the NE-FFW, there are several steps interested people need to take: 

    1.      Apply online by May 1, 2018.

    a.      Submit a 300 word statement about why they want to participate

    b.      Submit a CV

    c.       Submit a diversity statement (1 page or less)

    2.      Await notification of acceptance on May 16, 2018

    3.      Confirm participation in workshop by paying a $50 registration fee by June 1, 2018


    To learn more, click here.






  • Congratulations PSLA Grad Student Tao Wu!

    Tao Wu and Kristin Schwab received the CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture) Fellows Award of Excellence for the poster research presentation they gave at this past week's annual meeting at Virginia Tech. The CELA is an organization "comprised of over 120 institutions and individuals who have interest in the preparation of landscape architects for global practice."  To read more about the CELA, click here.

    Wu and Schwab's poster were selected out of over 40 other competitors and awarded a $500 prize.




  • Campus-Wide Seminars in April



  • Professor Mark Brand Patents Black Chokeberry Cultivars

    Prolific inventor and professor of horticulture at the University of Connecticut, Mark Brand was recently issued two patents for his novel black chokeberry plants. The new UConn chokeberries will be available in garden centers for spring 2018. Click here to read more.


  • Upcoming Seminar March 9th



  • Meet Rosa Raudales

    Rosa Raudales is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA) here at UConn.  Her studies focus around water quality for irrigation purposes and managing microbes. To learn more about Raudales' research,  extension work, etc., click here.


  • Congratulations to the Integrated Pest Management Team!

    Our IPM team has won one of the 12th annual Provost Awards for Exellence in Public Engagement.  This acknowledgment is awarded to those who engage the public to address critical societal issues.  Each of the awardees has contributed to strenthening the scholarship or the engagement mission of UConn and furthers UConn's goal to develop scholarship, programs, and partnerships that are relevant, reciprocal, and responsible.

    The IPM was awarded this because of the way they "apply multiple tactics in a variety of settings through the selection of appropriate tools and the education of members of the agricultural industry and Connecticut citizens to provide sustainable, science-based approaches for the management of plant pests."



  • Upcoming Seminar 2/23


  • Graduate student Juan Cabrera secures grant

    Congratulations to Juan Cabrera and his advisor, Dr. Rosa Raudales for their proposal "Preventing Clogging of Drip Irrigation Caused by Iron Precipitates" which was accepted as a 2017 Northeast Greenhouse Conference Research grant.



  • Meet Undergrad Madison Blake

    Blake is currently a sophomore majoring in horticulture and is very passionate about sustainable landscape and ecologically friendly plant culture.  Read about her research experience, what brought her to UConn, her interests, and more here.



  • Southeast Regional Turf Grass Conference

    John Inguagiato spoke at the Southeast Regional Turf Grass Conference on January 30, 2018.



  • Come Check Out the 3rd Annual Know Your Farmer Fair




  • Gerry Berkowitz Seeks to Improve Industrial Hemp Cultivation

    Gerry Berkowitz, a professor in the department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture here at UConn, has turned his attention over to the cultivation of hemp.  He has nearly two acres of it growing here at Storrs and has the go ahead to do all he and his students can to potentially unlock a pharmaceutical breakthrough.  Learn more anout his hemp plants and the research being conducted here.


  • Meet Alumna Stephanie Lucas

    Stephanis Lucas graduated from UConn in 2010 with a double major in horticulture and turfgrass science and a minoe in landscape design.  All of her hard work paid off as she is now the deputy director for Madison Square Park in Manhattan. She manages 14 employees and a six-acre park.  Read about her job description and how UConn helped her get to where she is today here.


  • Meet Undergradate Student Peter Apicella

    Peter Apicella is a student with a lot on his plate.  He has incredible time management skills balancing his studies and his research while also being on the Mens Crew Team and being a student ambassador.  He's a senior horticulture major and plans on furthering his education and eventually going after a PhD.  Read more about Peter here.


  • UConn Extension Ties Research to Real Life

    UConn Extension and the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture showcase our research and extension programs working with farmers and the public in their most recently published video.  To view it, click here.



  • UConn's Poinsettias

    As it gets closer and closer to the holdiays, the floriculture greenhouse fills with hundreds of Poinsettias, including up to 90 varieties, that are sold to faculty, students, and community.  UConn, for the past 20 years, has been a trial dite for growing new varieties of Poinsettias.  Read more about it by clicking here.


  • Congrats to the UConn Integrated Pest Management Program Team!

    The Uconn IPM Program team received the Provost's Award for Excellence in Public Engagement.  This team includes: Donna Ellis (IPM Program Coordinator, invasive species, curriculum, nursery, and school IPM), Mary Concklin (fruit), Leanne Pundt (greenhouse), Ana Legrand (invasive species, turf and landscape), Alejandro Chiriboga (nursery), Candace Bartholomew (pesticide safety education), Joan Allen (plant diagnostic laboratory), and Victoria Wallace (school, turf, and landscape). Jude Boucher (vegetable) retired in 2017.

    The 2017 Excellence in Public Engagement Reception was held on November 14 at the UConn Alumni Center. Here is our winning team below at the reception.



  • Fall 2017 Seminar Series: Upcoming Seminar



  • As the Holiday Season Approaches, So Do the Holiday Plants!

    Help support our very own Horticulture Club by purchasing your holiday Poinsettia and Rosemary Trees from them.  Get your pre-order forms filled out by Nov. 17th 2017.



  • Fall 2017 Seminar Series: Upcoming Seminar



  • Meet Undergraduate Student Taylor Cheek

    Taylor Cheek, a senior and horticulture major here at the University of Connecticut, expects to graduate in May 2018 with a Bachelor's of Science in horticulture.  She, however, did not start her journey with this plan.  Taylor started her college career at Pratt Institute before transferring to UConn which is where she found her passion for the environment.  To read about her past experiences working with children and visiting Hawaii and to learn about her plans for the future, click here.



  • Meet Graduate Student Phil Estrin

    Phil Estrin, a PhD student in the PSLA Department, received both a bachelor's and a master's degree in molecular and cellular biology and then came back in order to learn all he could about the growth of hemp for medicinal uses.  Read about his goals, his field of research, some fun facts about himself, etc. here.





  • Development of New Plant Cultivars

    Tons of patience and perseverance is required in order to bring a new type of plant to the market.  Dr. Mark Brand has what it takes.  To date, Brand's lab has brought 27 new cultivars to the market and has more to come in the next few years.  To read about the steps it takes to get a new cultivar on the market, click here.




  • Congrats to the UConn Integrated Pest Management Team!

    The Office of Public Engagement has selected our Integrated Pest Management team as the recipient of the 2017 Provost's Award for Excellence in Public Engagement in the Team Category.  We thank them for their wonderful work and their contributions to the University.


  • 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo

    University of Connecticut representing at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA this past week for the 2017 ASLA annual meeting and expo.  This annual meeting is the largest gathering of landscape architect professionals and students in the world.


  • Congrats to Susan Lacerte, a PSLA Alumna!

    The City Gardens Club of New York City honored Susan with their Medal of Honor at the Club’s centennial luncheon on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at the Boathouse restaurant in Central Park. The historic medal is given to an individual or individuals in recognition of distinguished work and dedication in enhancing gardens, parks, and open space in New York City.

    "Susan Lacerte is simply inspiring!  Humble, smart and effective, she listens to people and responds, incorporating their wishes into a realized vision of beauty and responsible stewardship of natural resources,” said Catherine C. Crane, President of The City Gardens Club of New York City.

    “I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to lead hard-working staff, work with the wonderful board, and serve a thriving community for the past 24 years,” said Susan Lacerte, QBG Executive Director. “I am so honored to receive this award from the City Gardens Club for the work I love to do, at a Garden that touches the lives of so many.”


  • Donna Ellis Quoted in the Newtown Bee

    All over Fairfield, CT, a vine is invading the hills.  This vine named after it's fast growth, mile-a-minute, can grow up to six inches a day and quickly covers all other vegetation in it's path.  In order to help control it, weevils have been released to consume it almost as fast as it grows.  Donna Ellis, the senior extension educator at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, helps explain how this works in greater detail here.


  • John Alexopoulos Featured in The Connecticut Landscape Architect

    Read about one of our own Landscape Architect professors in the latest edition of The Connecticut Landscape Architect.  Learn the story behind how he found his LA calling, his history in the business, and his teaching career here.


  • Attend Our Next Seminar!


  • Meet Undergraduate Student Cameron Collins

    Cameron, a student here at UConn with a love of the earth and sustainable living, created his own individualized major.  He is currently double majoring in sustainable plant and soil systems and global perspectives in sustainable agroecology (his individualized major).  To read more about his major, his activities, and his plans for the future, read the article about him on Naturally@UConn here.


  • Growing Gypsy Moth Population - cause of worry for campus

    Ana Legrand, an entomology extension professor here at UConn, helps explain the problem with the growing gypsy moth population and why it poses a threat to our campus.  The larvae of these insects are harmful to New England's foliage and because they are a nonnative species, we don't have any natural way to control them.  Read more here.



  • Redefining the Phrase 'Experiementing with Pot."

    Dr. Gerald Berkowitz, a professor of plant science here at UConn, and the field of cannabis at the University of Connecticut Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Research Farm may hold a new treatment for neurological disorders like epilepsy.  

    To read more about the studies Berkowitz has been doing, learn more about the type of cannabis growing here at UConn, click here.


  • Dawn Pettinelli's Article is Featured on

    Read about adding castor bean plants to your garden to add a tropical touch.  Pettinellis goes on to explain how and when to cultivate them, how to keep your kids and pets safe around their seeds, and more in her article which can be found here.


  • Dr. Mark Brand Helps in the Efforts to Reduce the Spread of Lymes Disease Through Japanese Barberry

    September 27th at 6pm NBC aired a piece on the efforts taking place in Connecticut to reduce the risk from a highly common shrub that is linked with the spread of disease ridden ticks.  Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is an invasive plant that is still being sold on the shelves of many garden centers across the state.  Although state researchers have found that this plant aides in the spread of ticks with Lyme's Disease, homeowners and businesses continue to purchase and plant it. 

    Here at UCONN, Dr. Mark Brand has been hard at work breeding a sterile variety of Japanese Barberry.  These sterile vareities are licensed to be sold starting in 2018 to help cut back the invasive varieties. This is a step in the right direction.

    Read the full article and/or watch the NBC news clip here



  • Congratulations Yi Li!

    On September 19th, Li was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Science recognizing outstanding contributions to the science, profession, or industry of horticulture. The ASHS is recognized around the world as one of the most "respected and influential professional societies for horticultural scientists"; receiving this fellow is a great and well deserved honor.  


  • Congratulations to the Following Scholarship Recipients!

    A huge congrats to our hardworking horticulture students:

    Robert Losee, recipient of the Dr. Edwin "Pat" Carpenter Award

    Dawn Smith, recipient of the David J.A. Smith Award

    Jacob Gardner, recipient of the Ludwig Hoffman Award



  • Autumn Mum Sale

    Starting Friday September 22nd till Sunday September 24th, the UCONN Horticulture Club will be hosting an Autumn Mum Sale. Mums will be selling for $6 for one or $15 for three. They will be located at the Dairy Bar for selected times (see flyer for details). Hope to see you there!



  • Study Abroad in Cuba!

    January 3rd - 14th 2018

    Earn 3 UCONN credits while learning about Cuba's history pertaining to agricultural production and food security. 
    Contact Ana Legrand at with questions.



  • Meet Graduate Student Yayu Li

    After overcoming many hardships in her younger years back in China, Yayu Li got the chance to study abroad at UCONN and describes it as the moment "the impossible became possible." Read more about her life, her field of research, her accomplishments, and her aspirations in the article featuring her at Naturally@UConn.  Click here to read the article in full.




  • Many of Your Garden Flowers Are Edible

    Food topped with pretty flowers have been all over Instagram recently.  They look exotic and expensive.  Many people don't realize that many of the flowers in your very own garden are edible and can be used to spice up your dinner table.  Take a look at the full article here to read about which flowers are safe to consume and how to identify them.


  • PSLA Seminar: Plant-based Remediation Systems to Manage Agricultural Contaminants by Dr. Sarah White

    Join us for the seminar on Tuesday, August 15th in W.B. Young Room 327 at 10 AM!



  • Get Tick Advice from the Home and Garden Center!

    UConn Today recently featured an article about how to deal with ticks. The Home and Garden Center's factsheet was highlighted and includes ways to modify your landscape to discourage tick habitation. Click here to view their tick fact sheet.



  • Could Federal Funding Cuts Impact CT's Fight Against Invasive Species?

    Extension Educator, Donna Ellis, comments on the invaisve species problem in Connecticut. The article discusses how our programs may be impacted if the proposed budget cuts are approved. Read the article in the New Haven Register or the CT Post.



  • NY DEC Anticipate Sale of UConn's Sterile Japanese Barberry Cultivars

    Japanese Barberry, Berberis thunbergii, has been banned from sale in New York since 2015 due to the environmental threat associated with its invasiveness. Sterile cultivars created by Professor, Dr. Mark Brand, are expected to allow for an environmentally safe return of the plant to the nursery industry.

    Read the full Times Union article here.

    Photo Credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,


  • Congratulations to Jim Palmieri, Floral Art Instructor and UConn Blooms Manager, on his Retirement!

    Jim Palmieri is pictured below with current and former students who joined him and members of the department on June 19 to celebrate his retirement. Thank you for 13 years of wonderful service!



  • Plant Science Professors Create Sterile Versions of Invasive Shrubs

    Horticulture Professor Dr. Mark Brand has developed a sterile version of the popular invasive plant, barberry. UConn is partnering with Prides Corner Farms out of Lebanon, CT to make the plant available nationwide. Meanwhile, Professor Dr. Yi Li, founder of the New England Invasive Plant Center, is close to filing for a patent for sterile burning bush cultivars. Click here to read the Hartford Courant article.



  • Gypsy Moth Update From Our Extension Educators

    Dry spring seasons the last couple years had a depressing effect on the fungal activity, leading to the caterpillar outbreaks we are seeing this year, but we’ve had a wetter spring and while the defoliation ‘damage has been done’ in many areas, we are now seeing increased fugal activity killing off the caterpillars. Click here to read the full update.



  • UConn Magazine highlights James Gagliardi's work at the Smithsonian Gardens in Washington, D.C.

    PSLA Alum James Gagliardi is a supervisory horticulturist at the Smithsonian Gardens. Thirty million people come through the gardens each year and a strong UConn influence can be felt throughout the landscapes. In fact, Horticulture Professor Mark Brand bred and patented a switchgrass that is planted right in the heart of the gardens. Click here to read the article.



  • Check Out UConn's New Native Plants Initiatives Website!

    The New England Native Plants Initiatives site directs people to organizations and businesses related to native plants in our region with the goal of increasing use of the plants.  It was co-initiated by Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture graduate student John Campanelli and his advisor, Associate Professor Julia Kuzovkina, while working on a related DOT native grasses project. Click here to view the website!



  • Sustainable Agriculture Students Featured in UConn Magazine!

    The cover article in UConn Magazine highlighted student interest in farming and included many CAHNR student stories. Click here to read the article.



  • Department Sponsors First Bee Campus Program in Connecticut!

    The Bee Campus program was recently featured in UConn Today, click here to read the article




  • UConn Butterfly Bush Introductions

    5-12-17 Thanks to the plant breeding work headed by Mark Brand, professor of horticulture in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, five new butterfly bushes bring vibrant color and unique foliage to Proven Winners. His new introductions were featured in a recent article of Naturally@UConn, click here to read the article.

    Buddleia ‘Summer Skies’



  • View the UConn Ag Team Video:

    5-10-17 This video features many extension educators, researchers and graduate students in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture.



  • Landscape Architecture students recognized by CT American Society of Landscape Architects

    5-1-17 Congratulations to the following graduating Landscape Architecture majors, who have been recognized by CTASLA for outstanding academic achievement:


    Rubson Guimaraes, Honor Award
    Tristan Welch, Honor Award
    Adam Loughrey, Merit Award
    Matthew Spencer, Merit Award

    The students’ Senior Capstone Projects were critiqued by a jury of professionals and faculty on May 1st.




  • HortClub Tour of Geremia Greenhouse:

    Last week the HortClub visited Geremia Greenhouse in Wallingford, CT with Dr. Raudales. It was a great time for all!

    Check out these photos of some of our members.



  • PSLA Seminar: Communicating Contentious Issues with a Concerned Public - Focus on Biotechnology by Dr. Kevin Folta

    4/3/17 Join us for the seminar at the Dodd Center on Monday, April 3rd. Dr. Folta has been involved with various aspects of science communication, with a particular emphasis on biotechnology. Click here for more information.


  • PSLA Seminar: Exploiting chemical ecology and plant behavior for developing sustainable crop protection strategies for Africa

    3-30-17 The Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture hosted a seminar by renowned  scienist Dr. Zeyaur Khan on the revolutionary new biocontrol strategy he and his team developed  for pesticide-free control of both insects and weeds using native perennial forage species as both deterrents and trap crops.  The system was developed  to improve the production of corn and forage by African farmers. Click here to read the Daily Campus article.


  • Read about undergraduate student Gabriel DeRosa

    2-15-17 Gabe DeRosa recently completed a UConn study abroad experience in Florence, Italy at the International Studies Institute at Palazzo Rucellai. Here he participated in the College’s Sustainable Food and Environmental Systems Program. His experience was featured in a recent article of Naturally@UConn, click here to read the article.


  • Invasive Species article in IPM Insights

    2-1-17 Donna Ellis, Senior Extension Educator, was featured in an article on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and invasive species in the latest issue of IPM Insights and talks about her work with non-native, invasive plants.


  • Read about undergraduates Jacob Gardner and Peter Apicella

    1-25-17 CAHNR horticulture students Peter Apicella and Jacob Griffith Gardner were among the fall 2016 IDEA Grant recipients. As part of IDEA group projects, they will direct breeding efforts of Aronia, a fruit bearing shrub. Click here to read more.

  • Meet CAHNR Alumna Rachel Holden

    1-24-17 Rachel Holden is a CAHNR alumna who majored in animal science and minored in horticulture. She is currently a graduate student in agricultural education. She was recently featured in Naturally@UConn, click here to read the article.