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Gina Fernandez

Professor and Director of Graduate Programs

John D. and Nell R. Leazar Distinguished Professor

Kilgore Hall 260

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PhD Pomology Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 1994

MS Horticulture University of Minnesota St. Paul, MN 1987

BS Biology Ripon College, Ripon, WI 1981

Area(s) of Expertise

Dr. Fernandez started at NC State University in 1996. Her early years were focused on evaluating chemical and biological alternatives to methyl bromide and use of row covers in to increase yields of strawberries. She also tested blackberry and raspberry cultivars at research stations across the state. These trials showed that blackberries were very productive and helped to the develop a commercial blackberry industry in western NC.

She is now the strawberry, raspberry and blackberry breeder for the state. The focus of the strawberry breeding program is to develop disease resistant cultivars with superior horticultural traits. Raspberry breeding focuses on development of heat tolerance. For blackberry, she works with other breeders to test their material in NC. Dr. Fernandez also has statewide Extension responsibilities in blackberries and raspberries (aka brambles or caneberries).


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