Dr. Roberto Lopez has joined the faculty in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing, Michigan as an Assistant Professor and Controlled Environment/Floriculture Extension Specialist. He will have a 45% research, 30% teaching, and 25% extension appointment. Roberto will add to MSU’s lighting expertise with his research background in traditional and LED supplemental and sole-source lighting and become part of the Floriculture Research Alliance and. Roberto says he will continue investigating how light (quantity, quality, and duration), carbon dioxide, air and substrate temperature during the young and finished plant stages influence timing, rooting, quality, and subsequent performance of specialty crops.
His new area of research at MSU will include hydroponic greenhouse and indoor production of leafy greens and vegetables. Roberto will also add to MSU’s horticulture curriculum by offering courses in greenhouse structures and management, floriculture production, and hydroponic food production. As part of his extension appointment, he will become the newest member of the MSU Greenhouse/Floriculture Crop Production Team which serves the $480 million dollar Michigan Greenhouse Industry (3rd largest in the U.S). The nine member team is composed of extension educators and outreach specialists with responsibilities in commercial floriculture and controlled environment production, staff at Diagnostic Services, and faculty members in the Departments of Horticulture, Entomology, and Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences (http://flor.hrt.msu.edu/members/ and http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/floriculture). Roberto will continue being a member of the award winning Electronic Growers Resources Online (e-GRO) which he and his colleagues Drs. Brian Whipker, Brian Krug, and Nora Catlin, began in 2012. Roberto comes to MSU after 8.5 years as an assistant and associate professor and Floriculture Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University.