Faculty & Staff
Scott Steinmaus, Ph.D.
Dr. Steinmaus received a BS in Plant Science/Plant Pathology and a PhD in Plant Biology from the University of California at Davis. He worked as a Staff Research Associate in the Weed Science program while a graduate student at UCD. He was a National Research Initiative USDA Postdoc Fellow Plant Physiologist at University of California Riverside in the Botany and Plant Science Department. He joined the Horticulture and Crop Science Department at Cal Poly in 1999 and moved into the Biological Sciences Department in 2005 before returning in 2014 to HCS as department head. His area of teaching and research is weed science as it pertains to weeds in agriculture and invasive plants in wild lands.
J. Wyatt Brown, Ph.D.
Dr. Brown is a professor and the assistant department head for the Horticulture and Crop Science Department where he has taught for 25 years. He came to Cal Poly from LSU via Cornell after spending 7 years training as a postharvest technologist/physiologist. He currently teaches the courses Postharvest Technology of Horticulture Crops, Introduction to Vegetable Science, and California Vegetable Production. Dr. Brown's research interests center on pre-cut fruits and vegetables, plastics and modified-atmosphere packaging. Over the last 15 years, he has conducted studies involving broccoli and cauliflower florets; sliced green onions; pre-cut artichokes, sweet potatoes, apples and lemons; whole strawberries; pre-cut pineapple; chopped cilantro and whole herbs. His research on antibrowning compounds for pre- cut produce has resulted in a recently conferred patent. His current research involves evaluating transit and retail temperatures for pre-cut leafy greens, characterizing and testing biodegradable films for packaging, evaluating migrants from plastics due to sealing or during microwaving, evaluating plastics for heavy metal content, and determining the potential migration of heavy metals from plastics during the storage and microwaving of pre-cut products. Dr. Brown was designated the Outstanding Faculty Researcher by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences for 2013-14, and has been named a University Distinguished Scholar for 2014-15. He is also faculty advisor for Cal Poly's anime club, Minna no Anime.
Lauren C. Garner, Ph.D.
Dr. Garner teaches classes in Fruit Science, including Citrus and Avocado Fruit Production, Pomology I and II, Enterprise Projects and California Fruit Growing, in addition to teaching Crop Physiology and Introduction to Horticulture and Crop Science. She earned her Master’s degree from Cornell University and her PhD from UC Riverside. Her research interests focus on whole-plant physiology, plant growth regulators, and the development of cultural methods to increase fruit crop production, including that of avocado, citrus, and pomegranates. She was the recipient of the 2012 College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences New Faculty Award for University Teaching. Dr. Garner is the faculty supervisor of the Cal Poly orchards and a faculty advisor to the Department's Crops Club.
David H. Headrick, Ph.D.
Dr. Headrick teaches Agricultural Entomology, Biological Control of Agricultural Pests, Vertebrate Pest Management and Insect Pest Management in the Plant Protection Science concentration. He earned his PhD from UC Riverside where he studied biological control of weeds and became a specialist in tephritid fruit fly ecology and behavior. His research on this agriculturally important group and other research has resulted in more than 80 published articles, book chapters and technical reports. He was the recipient of the 2010 College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Outstanding Researcher Award and conducts research on insect pest management in vegetable, citrus and greenhouse cropping systems. He has given 92 research-related presentations nationally and internationally.
Margaret Hoffman, Ph.D.
Dr. Margaret Hoffman received her BS through the University of Minnesota's College of Forestry and her Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University in Landscape Horticulture. She owned and operated a landscape design/build firm for 15 years, specializing in ecological designs and sustainable landscape technologies. She recently taught at Western Illinois University as Assistant Professor of Sustainable Horticulture. Her classes included: Introduction to Horticulture, Sustainable Landscape Technologies, Plant identification, Home Horticulture, Landscape Management, Landscape Design and Turf Manangement. Dr. Hoffman's research interests are in biological filtration of natural swimming pools, stormwater management and native plants in the managed landscape. She is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Association of Professional Landscape Designers and the American Society for Horticultural Science.
Benjamin K. Hoover, Ph.D.
Dr. Hoover is an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Nursery Production. He worked in the Pennsylvania nursery industry for a decade, growing and selling plants in wholesale and retail environments. Dr. Hoover earned a B.S. in horticulture from Temple University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University. He teaches classes related to plant production, such as Plant Propagation, Nursery Production, Herbaceous and Specialty Plant Production, and Horticultural Production Techniques. Dr. Hoover serves as faculty advisor to the Horticulture Club and as a coach for the Cal Poly SLO Professional Landscape Network (PLANET) Student Career Days competition team.
Kelly Ivors, Ph.D.
Dr. Ivors has 50% teaching and 50% research responsibilities, and her research focuses on the biology and management of plant pathogens attacking agricultural and horticultural crops. As a faculty member associated with the new Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center, her research program focuses on the population biology and management of strawberry and small fruit diseases in California. Current research projects being conducted by undergraduate and graduate students in her laboratory include: the development of applied diagnostic protocols for the major soilborne fungal pathogens attacking strawberries in California, including Macrophomina phaseolina, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. fragariae, and Verticillium dahliae; and the development, investigation, and optimization of novel soil-borne disease management techniques.
Melinda Lynch, AIFD
Melinda Lynch AIFD CFD is a Cal Poly Alumna, she teaches our floral design classes offered in our department. She teaches summer courses to the California Ag. Education Teachers. She is the advisor to the (SAIFD) Gordon Student Chapter of (AIFD) American Institute of Floral Designers. She coaches the National Floral Design team for SAIFD, they compete at the State and National levels. She is currently the Co-Chair for the Student Membership/AIR and a member of Certification Committee on the National Board of Committees in AIFD. She was inducted in AIFD in 2002 and is also a Certified Floral Designer with AIFD.
Mark Shelton, Ph.D.
Dr. Shelton joined Cal Poly in 1982 as a Crop Science professor, serving as department head in 1996-97. He is a Registered Professional Entomologist with expertise in Integrated Pest Management, apiculture, and insect management. Dr. Shelton also has interests in international agriculture policy and development. Dr. Shelton served as Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture from 1997 to 2015 and was responsible for farm operations, and research and graduate programs. He also acted as a liaison with numerous industry partners for the College and University.
Ashraf Tubeileh, Ph.D.
Dr. Tubeileh joined the HCS Department in Fall, 2015. He is teaching classes in Organic Farm Production, Cropping Systems, Commercial Seed Production and is the faculty supervisor of the Department's Organic Farm, where he supervises students working as members of the Organic Enterprise project. He also helps to oversee the College’s Sustainable Agriculture minor. Dr. Tubeileh obtained a Ph.D. in Agronomy from the Université de Lorraine in France in 2000. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) between 2001 and 2007. At ICARDA, Dr. Tubeileh contributed to the implementation of development-oriented research in close collaboration with staff from national, international and non-governmental institutions both in developing regions (Middle-east and North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa) and in developed countries. Dr. Tubeileh was previously at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada where he managed 14 research projects involving field, vegetable, and biomass crops. Dr. Tubeileh has more than 50 scientific publications.
Virginia R. Walter, M.S.
Professor Walter teaches Horticulture Fundamentals, Floriculture Grades & Standards, Greenhouse Environment, Cut Flower Production and Potted Plant Production. She is advisor to Pi Alpha Xi, and coach of the Cal Poly Flower Judging Team, winning the Woody Kalin Award in 1993, 1994, and 1995 for coaching a national championship team. She is advisor to the FFA State Finals Floriculture Contest and advisor for numerous agriculture enterprise projects. She is a Fulbright scholar and is involved in various research projects involving floriculture crops. She is developing a CD-ROM to augment the greenhouse environment class. She is an active member of the American Society for Horticultural Science and a past working group chair. She is a member of the California Ornamental Research Federation Planning Board. Specialties: Greenhouse Production; Floriculture; Energy Conservation; Growing Media; Growth Regulators; Flower Judging.
Jeffrey C. Wong, Ph.D.
Dr. Wong is teaching an introductory class and laboratory in genetics and is currently conducting genetic research with Stanford University. "The techniques and experimental approach I use can be applied to many plant species. Crop and vegetable species grown on the Central Coast could be used to prove the link between the basic science concepts and the field application," Wong explains. He also wants to design and teach a laboratory techniques class. The course would use the newest technologies to differentiate plant DNAs to help select genes that would provide the best plant types for cultivation.
Department StaffMain Office: 11-230, 756-2279, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Name & Description||Telephone||Office|
|Sara Arnett (Bynum)
HCS Academic Advisor
Technician, Crops Unit
Administrative Support Coordinator II
Technician, Crops Unit
Manager, EHS Unit and Director, Leaning Pine Arboretum