US (HI): Researcher recognized for work on improved crop growth, plant biology

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A researcher at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) received a Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biology (ASPB) Award which is granted to no more than 0.2% of the current membership each year. Robert Paull, of the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, will be formally recognized in June during the ASPB’s Annual Plant Biology Conference. In 2014, he was previously made a Fellow of both the American Society for Horticulture Sciences and the International Society for Horticulture Science.

Paull’s research has led to improved crop growth and yield under environmental stress, and extended postharvest life of tropical ornamentals, fruits and vegetables. His research is valued by the agricultural industry, and his publications have led to more than 17,300 citations in his career, with about 1,000 citations per year since 2019. Paull has been placed on Stanford University’s list of the top 2% of the most-cited scientists in various fields (2022–23).

“Unique to Robert is his willingness to energetically help anyone on any project who requests his assistance,” said David Christopher of the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering. “He has formed a cadre of respected and grateful national and international academic colleagues, farmers, industry scientists and friends who value his collaborations.”

Paull has made numerous contributions to the areas of tropical and subtropical fruit, nut, vegetables, ornamental physiology and genetics, their postharvest physiology, handling and storage. He has co-authored five books; edited an encyclopedia, seven volumes and proceedings; authored 127 book chapters; and published 151 peer-reviewed journal articles and 138 conference abstracts and presentations.

“We congratulate Robert for his lifetime of diverse, impactful, and exceptional contributions to tropical agriculture, the field of plant biology and for bringing prestige to the University of Hawaiʻi,” said Christopher.

The award is a recognition of a lifetime of distinguished contributions to plant biology and to serving society in areas including research, education, mentoring, collaborations, outreach, and professional and public service.


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