Dr. Mathers' team brings together a unique variety of cultures, educational backgrounds, experience, and research interests.
DR. HANNAH MATHERS - Associate Professor, Extension Specialist - Nursery & Landscape
Dr. Mathers is a native of Exeter, Ontario, Canada. As state specialist, she is responsible for statewide commercial nursery and landscape Extension activities. Dr. Mathers also writes "Out and About" for The Buckeye (ONLA's monthly trade magazine), she is a regular contributor to NMPro magazine, and she speaks at national and international industry conferences.
Dr. Mathers' current research focuses on:
Dr. Mathers earned her Ph.D. at Michigan State University, her M.S. in horticulture at the University of Saskatchewan, and her B.S. in plant science/pomology at Cornell University. Her dissertation research focused on cold hardiness of cherries. Dr. Mathers first earned a two-year diploma in forestry and a two-year diploma in agriculture (specializing in fruits and vegetables) from the University of Guelph.
Dr. Mathers came to Ohio State from the Oregon State University North Willamette Research and Extension Center. She also has worked as provincial nursery industry specialist in Alberta and British Columbia, as well as a technician for a reforestation nursery. She has been awarded the Oregon Association of Nurserymen's Distinguished Education and Dedication to Excellence awards. (Dr. Mathers came to Ohio State in 2000.)
MICHELE BIGGER - Graduate Student
Michele graduated from the North Dakota State University with undergraduate degrees in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design. She has worked on landscape architectural projects both nationally and internationally. In 2005, she received a master's degree in Horticulture and Crop Science from Ohio State University. Her studies focused on effects of herbicides on cold hardiness in four species of commonly used landscape shrubs. Michele is an incoming Ph.D. student, again with the OSU Department of Horticulture & Crop Science.
DENISE JOHNSON - Program Coordinator
Denise is originally from Wickliffe, Ohio (Lake County). Deniseâ€™s primary responsibility is program planning for the OSU Nursery Short Course. She also assists with planning for Dr. Mathers' Hispanic activities, horticulture and crop science classes, Web site content, and publication of fact sheets and bulletins. Denise came to Horticulture & Crop Science from the Ohio 4-H Foundation where she managed their grant process and was in charge of their main fundraising event, The Celebration of Youth. Denise earned a B.S.J. from Ohio University and has also worked as the director of marketing and public relations for Red Roof Inns, Inc. (Denise came to Ohio State in 2005.)
LUKE CASE - Research Associate
Luke is originally from a farm near Sherwood, Ohio (Defiance County). Luke is responsible for all facets of the research process for Dr. Mathers' projects. This includes setting up and maintaining trials, analyzing data, and presentation of data. Luke assists Dr. Mathers' graduate students with their research projects as well. He also assists in writing grants for the research trials; preparing manuscripts during the year, and compiling information for research and Extension bulletins and fact sheets. Luke earned his B.S. in crop science and M.S. in horticulture from Ohio State. As an undergraduate, he was on the weed science team and worked for the weed science program. Luke's thesis focused on herbicide-treated mulches for container weed control. (Luke joined the Ohio State staff in 2003.)
KYLE DANIEL - Graduate Student
Kyle was born and raised in Henderson, Kentucky (western KY near the Ohio River). He earned a B.S. and M.S. in agriculture at Western Kentucky University. While pursuing his master's, Kyle conducted research on asexual propagation and weed control of blueberries. Kyle's current research at Ohio State focuses on bark splitting on trees. He is looking forward to working with growers in Ohio and across the country to facilitate advancements in the nursery/landscape industry. Kyle has worked as a nursery retail sales associate, research assistant, greenhouse technician, and lawn care operator. After earning his Ph.D., Kyle's goal is to teach horticulture at the college level. (Kyle came to Ohio State in January 2007.)
DANIA RIVERA - Graduate Student
Dania was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She earned both her master's and bachelor's of science degrees in horticulture at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez. For two summers, Dania also worked as a research student in the Undergraduate Research Program at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Dania then worked as a sales representative of Margo Caribe Inc., in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico - in charge of sales for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and as the ornamental horticulture specialist of the Puerto Rico Agricultural Extension Service. Now at Ohio State, Dania is researching how to accelerate production of tree liners in retractable roof greenhouses and assisting with the team's other projects. (Dania came to Ohio State in August 2007.)
UPENDER SOMIREDDY - Graduate Student
Upender is from Khammam, Andhra Pradesh, India. His family raised chiles, rice, cotton, peanuts, and pulses (beans). He earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees at A.N.G.R. Agricultural University in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Upender's master's thesis focused on weed control in corn (used for poultry feed). He worked as a research associate at the University and then as a production executor for Monsanto. At Ohio State, Upender's current research is focusing on herbicide-treated mulch, as well as a cold hardiness study. (Upender came to Ohio State in June 2006.)