At its inception in 2006, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC) was a vision for the future. Today, the Centre’s mandate to be an internationally recognized horticulture research and innovation centre of excellence is being realized with a growing team of dedicated research and innovation experts.
Building on Vineland’s core disciplines of Consumer Insights and Product Innovations led by Dr. Isabelle Lesschaeve, Applied Genomics led by Dr. Daryl Somers, and Horticultural Production Systems led by Dr. Michael Brownbridge, Vineland is rapidly establishing research teams that will add value to Canadian horticulture. New appointments to Vineland include:
|Michael Kauzlaric, horticulture technology scout, is a native of the
Niagara region who grew up on a tender fruit and grape operation. He has an
Associate Diploma (Agr.) and a B.Sc. (Agr.) degree from the University of
Guelph and will assist stakeholders in searching the world for new horticulture
|Travis Banks, a bioinformatics researcher, joins Vineland following
seven years with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. His research will focus on
integrating data from high-throughput molecular technologies into breeding
programs, and developing software to facilitate scientific discovery.
|Dr. Rumen Conev, a research scientist specializing in plant breeding, earned his PhD from the Plovdiv Agrarian University, Bulgaria, followed by post-doctoral research in Japan, Israel and Canada. He brings experience as an assistant professor, ornamental plant breeding, at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to Vineland where he will develop germplasm with novel traits in high value crops.|
|Dr. Ben Campbell, a horticulture economics researcher, comes to
Vineland from Texas A&M University where he completed post-doctorate
research. His work will target horticulture market expansion through the
introduction of new or enhanced products.
|Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, a biological control researcher, is an
entomologist specializing in integrated pest management and biological control
in horticulture, she received her PhD from Laval University. At Vineland, she
will focus on insect biocontrol beginning with biological thrips control in
“These individuals bring their knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm to partnerships with our Canadian horticulture stakeholders and will help in building a stronger, more competitive industry,” says VRIC CEO Dr. Jim Brandle.
“Vineland has received significant support from both the federal and provincial governments,” adds VRIC chairperson Donald Ziraldo. “As our research capacity grows, we also enhance our ability to partner effectively with research departments in both levels of government, industry and with academia and other research institutions. Together with these partners, we are building a stronger research network that is accessible and responsive to the needs of Canadian horticulture industry from grower through to retail.”
VRIC is an independent, not-for-profit organization created to be a world-class centre for horticultural science and innovation. In its capacity to enable and foster relationships with industry, academia and government, Vineland works to deliver premium product and production innovations. Vineland brings a global perspective to the Canadian horticulture industry and offers a broad range of lasting benefits to stakeholders both locally and internationally. Aligned with industry needs, Vineland’s research priorities and outcomes are focused on the growth of the entire horticulture industry.