Light and Plant Health header

Institutions and Key Personnel

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988, the LRC has been pioneering research in solid-state lighting, light and health, transportation lighting and safety, and energy efficiency for nearly 30 years, and is internationally recognized as the preeminent source for objective information on all aspects of lighting technology and application.

Mark ReaMark S. Rea (ream@rpi.edu) is Professor of Architecture and Cognitive Sciences at the Lighting Research Center. He served as LRC Director from 1988 to 2017. Dr. Rea is well known for his research in circadian photobiology, mesopic vision, psychological responses to light, lighting engineering, and visual performance. He is the author of more than 250 scientific and technical articles related to vision, lighting engineering, and human factors. He has been elected Fellow of the Society of Light and Lighting (UK) and Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society. Biographical sketch.

Jaimin PatelJaimin Patel (patelj6@rpi.edu) is a plant pathology research scientist at the Lighting Research Center. He is well respected in his field for developing innovative control strategies for diseases, especially those affecting vegetable and ornamental crops. Dr. Patel is the author of more than 40 scientific articles and serves as the associate editor of Plant Health Progress, a peer-reviewed journal of applied plant health. During his career, he has collaborated with scientists from around the world to study multiple crops and a variety of plant pathogens. Biographical sketch.

The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) is the national research and advisory service of Norway, and is the largest organization of its kind in northern Europe. Co-located in Ås, adjacent to the campus of NMBU, NIBIO is focused on creation and delivery of high-value research to benefit producers, people, and the environment. Complete state-of-the-art facilities are available to resident faculty and visiting scientists.

Arne StensvandArne Stensvand (arne.stensvand@nibio.no) leads the Fruit Pathology Group in NIBIO, and is an adjunct professor at NMBU. He is an internationally-recognized expert on diseases of fruit crops and also provides domain expertise on the practical use of UV and visible light to suppress powdery mildews and mites, based upon his conduct of numerous trials in Norway using fixed arrays, mobile booms, and automated robotic devices. Biographical sketch.

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) is a national academic center encompassing education and research in plant biology and horticulture and is located in Ås, approximately 30 km from Oslo, and co-located with the Ås campus of NIBIO. The university has extensive facilities for laboratory, greenhouse, controlled environment, and field research, and is a recognized center of excellence for education and research within northern Europe.

Aruppillai SuthparanAruppillai Suthaparan (arullillai.suthaparan@nmbu.no) is a research scientist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at NMBU. He is the most widely published authority in the fundamental and practical aspects of using UV and visible light for suppression of powdery mildew on a variety of crops, and is responsible for many of the most recent breakthroughs in this area of research. Biographical sketch.

The University of Florida Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) is located in western central Florida about 30 miles south of the Plant City – Dover area where most strawberries are grown in Florida. GCREC facilities include 16 laboratories and office space for 25 faculty members and their support personnel including post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. Two-hundred acres of land are available for demonstrations and exhibitions, including more than 25 acres of land structured for strawberries, hops, and tomatoes, and 14 heated and cooled greenhouse and shade house units. Meeting space can accommodate up to 500 people and features state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment including teleconferencing.

Natalia PeresNatalia Peres (nperes@ufl.edu) is a professor of Plant Pathology at the UFL, and is an internationally recognized authority on diseases of strawberry. She is the lead editor of the latest APS Compendium of Strawberry Diseases, and is widely recognized and sought after for her innovative approaches to IPM in fruit crops. She has received two national awards for her research and extension program from the American Phytopathological Society. Dr. Peres supervised the recent field trials for UV suppression of strawberry powdery mildew at Wish Farm in Florida. Biographical sketch.

Cornell New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) at Geneva is the largest center of its kind in the world exclusively devoted to research and outreach programs for fruits and vegetables, with over 870 acres of land (600 of which are cultivated), and fully equipped greenhouse and field facilities. Twenty-six faculty at NYSAES and the adjacent Plant Genetic Resources Unit of USDA lead outreach and research programs related to fruit and vegetable production.

David GadouryDavid M. Gadoury (dmg4@cornell.edu) is a senior research associate in Cornell's Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology in Geneva. Dr. Gadoury has 32 years of experience in pathogen biology, pathogen ecology, and epidemiology of powdery mildews, downy mildews, and other fungal pathogens on a variety of crops. He is a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society, and has received national awards for his research. Biographical sketch.

Lance Cadle-DavidsonLance Cadle-Davidson (Lance.CadleDavidson@ars.usda.gov) is a research scientist at the USDA-ARS Grape Genetics Research Unit at NYSAES specializing in biochemical and genetic interactions between powdery mildewsand their hosts. Dr. Cadle-Davidson is the domain expert of the project team on the genetic and genomic basis of light reception and interpretation. Biographical sketch.


OREI Organizational Project Meeting Group
In February 2015, project scientists (PS) and their advisory committee (AC) met for three days in Death Valley, CA, to begin a project funded by the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative. The international project is focused on how light can be used to suppress one of the most destructive pathogen groups attacking plants in glass house and and tunnel systems: powdery mildews. From left to right are Laura Pedersen (AC) of Pedersen Farms; Dr. Eric Sideman (AC) Maine Organic Farmers Association; Dr. Arupillai Suthaparan (PS) Norwegian University of Life Sciences; Dr. Arne Stensvand (PS) Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy; Dr. Mariana Figueiro (PS) RPI Lighting Research Center; Dr. Mark Rea (PS) RPI Lighting Research Center; Dr. David Gadoury (PS) Cornell University; Ole Myhrene (AC) Myhrene AS Norway; Dr. Rebecca Sideman (AC) University of New Hampshire; and Dr. Robert C. Seem (PS) Cornell University. (Click for larger image.)