Ph.D. Research Assistantship, The D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Award of Distinction is available for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021

A merit-based research assistantship is available at The Ohio State University for a student interested in studying floriculture production, physiology and/or molecular biology. The successful recipient of this award will join the DC Kiplinger Floriculture Crop Improvement Program in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. The student’s dissertation research will focus on using beneficial bacteria to enhance growth, quality and abiotic stress tolerance of ornamental plants.  Research will look at how the application of novel beneficial bacteria can be used to increase crop quality, reduce production inputs (i.e. fertilizers, PGRs, pesticides), and improve postproduction stress tolerance of ornamentals. Research will also focus on plant-bacteria interactions and the identification of biochemical and molecular changes in the plant that lead to enhanced crop quality.  This award is available for Fall 2020 or Spring 2021. Interested students should contact Dr. Michelle Jones at 330 263 3885 or by email at Applicants for the D.C. Kiplinger Award of Distinction must have a B.S. or M.S. degree in Horticulture or a related field and have a minimum GPA of 3.2.  All applicants must qualify for admission to the OSU graduate school and be admitted through the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science.  The GRE is required.  Admissions information for graduate studies in Horticulture and Crop Science can be found at  Please indicate in your letter of intent why you are interested in the D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Award of Distinction and describe any relevant experiences.  Application to the graduate school can be made online at

Lin awarded first place in Ph.D. research poster competition at 2020 CFAES Research Conference

April 24, 2020

Yiyun Lin was awarded first place for her research poster at the annual OSU College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Science (CFAES) Research Conference. Lin is a Ph.D. candidate conducting research with Dr. Michelle Jones and the D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Improvement Lab in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. This is the third year in a row Lin has been awarded first place in this competition. The research she presented this year was titled “Autophagy Genes ATG6 and PI3K are Negative Regulators of Petal Senescence.” In lieu of an in-person poster session due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CFAES implemented a virtual research competition with posters accessible online.  Authors could supplement their poster with a video narration, and viewers could engage with the author by submitting comments and questions in an online platform. Competition winners were announced during a virtual awards ceremony.  Congratulations to all the awardees.

Lin, Nordstedt, and South awarded for research presentations at the 2019 HCS Graduate Research Symposium

October 10-11, 2019

The 2019 Horticulture and Crop Science Graduate Research Symposium featured guest speakers, poster and oral research presentations, and proposal flash presentations.  Each of the PhD candidates in Dr. Jones’ lab were awarded for their research presentation.  Kaylee South won first place and Yiyun Lin and Nathan Nordstedt tied for second place.  South presented on “Beneficial bacteria identified for the biocontrol of Botrytis cincera in floriculture crop production.  Lin’s research presentation title was “Functional characterization of autophagy genes in petunia petal senescence.”  The title of Nordstedt’s presentation was “Bacteria derived from floriculture production systems enhance drought stress tolerance and quality of ornamental plant species.”  Lin and Nordstedt also presented and took home first and third place awards, respectively, in the proposal flash talk competition.  Congratulations!

Nordstedt invited to speak at Plant Science Symposium

October 2019

Nathan Nordstedt was an invited speaker at the University of Illinois Plant Science Symposium where he presented his research “Pseudomonas spp. increase crop health and quality under abiotic stress.”  The symposium focused on how the efficiency of agriculture can be enhanced by utilizing the support of scientists with diverse, interdisciplinary backgrounds.

Lin and South attend the 2019 CFAES Teaching and Learning Symposium in Columbus, OH

August 13, 2019

Yiyun Lin and Kaylee South attended the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Annual Teaching Symposium. This year’s theme was Teaching Today’s Learners. They learned the importance of building faculty-student and student-student relationships in the classroom, ways to use technology in class, and methods to support students. Find event information here.

Nordstedt presents research at the Junior Scientist Symposium and receives the Ray Travel Award to present at ASPB Annual Meeting

August 6, 2019

Nathan Nordstedt was selected to present both an oral and poster presentation on “Beneficial Pseudomonas enhance floriculture crop quality during abiotic stress” at the Carnegie Institute of Science’s Junior Scientist Symposium at Stanford University.  He was able to network with junior scientists from around the world, learning about many different areas of plant science research.  Nathan was awarded the Ray Travel Award for Service and Scholarship to attend and present his research at the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) annual meeting in San Jose, CA. This Award enables graduate students across the university to participate in professional conferences to present original research.  Unlike other programs that grant travel funds, the Ray Award gives substantial weight to the applicant’s service to his/her department, the university, and the surrounding community.

South is awarded travel awards to attend and present research at APS Plant Health 2019

August 3, 2019

Kaylee South was awarded the APS (American Phytopathological Society) C. Lee Campbell Student Travel Award and Dow AgroSciences Student Travel Award to attend the APS Annual Conference Plant Health 2019. This award is given in memory of Dr. C. Lee Campbell for his research, service, and teaching in plant pathology. Dow Agrosciences also gives this travel award as part of their pursuit to find solutions to today’s agricultural problems. As a travel grant recipient, Kaylee had the opportunity to serve at the APS Foundation booth during Plant Health 2019 to assist in raising funds for next year’s travel grant recipients. Kaylee was also awarded the Edward J. Ray Travel Award to attend the Plant Health 2019 which is awarded to students who are committed to service for their department, university, and community. At APS Plant Health 2019, Kaylee presented her research in the poster session titled “Identification of beneficial Pseudomonas strains for the biocontrol of Botrytis cinerea in floriculture crops.”

Chapin awarded University travel award to present research at APS annual meeting

August 3, 2019

Laura Chapin was awarded an Ohio State University Staff Career Development Grant to support travel to the annual meeting for the American Society of Phytopathologist (APS), Plant Health 2019 held in Cleveland OH.  Laura presented her research “Beneficial microorganisms can enhance greenhouse floriculture plant performance under reduced fertility” during a poster session.

OSU graduate students attend a Plant Science Symposium at Purdue, South awarded for her research presentation

August 1, 2019

Yiyun Lin and Kaylee South received a student travel award to attend and present at the Graduate Student Plant Science Symposium at Purdue University. The one-day symposium was filled with getting to know Purdue University graduate students and learning from speakers centering around the theme of Emerging Technology in Agriculture. Kaylee presented her research titled “Identification of beneficial Pseudomonas strains for the biocontrol of Botrytis cinerea in floriculture” at the poster competition where she won second place.

Lin presents at ASHS annual meeting

July 21-25, 2019

Yiyun Lin, presented at the Scholar Ignite Competition during the annual meeting for the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS).  Her presentation was awarded third place.  Lin serves as a member of the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) for ASHS.  To learn more about her experience, please see the article.

Graduate students volunteer and present during Cultivate’19

July 13-16, 2019

Graduate Students had a large presence at Cultivate’19, presented by American Hort in Columbus, OH.  Cultivate is the largest green industry trade show and conference for the horticulture industry in North America.  Yiyun Lin and Kaylee South served as tour guides for the Greenhouse Production Tour, and they both volunteered at the educational sessions.  Nathan Nordstedt presented a session, titled “Biostimulants: Another Tool for the Grower’s Toolbox,” alongside Drs. Michelle Jones and Neil Matson (Cornell University).  Th involvement with the conference allowed the students to share research area with a large group of greenhouse growers, industry members, and fellow academics.


Dr. Jones and Nordstedt published article in Greenhouse Grower Magazine

June 2019

Dr. Michelle and Nathan Nordstedt authored an article on biostimulants and greenhouse ornamentals, “How biostimulants can improve quality in ornamentals,” that was featured in the June 2019 Biostimulants Report,  published in the Greenhouse Grower, Florida Grower, American Fruit Grower, Western Fruit Grower, and American Vegetable Grower Magazine.

Lin attends I-Corps Workshop

June 2019

Yiyun Lin was awarded a travel grant for the NSF-supported BIO I-Corps Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop in Philadelphia, PA.  The workshop included training of biotechnology commercialization, professional networking, and the development of entrepreneurial opportunities for basic research.

Yiyun Lin becomes a 2019 Altman Family Scholar

May 13, 2019

PhD sudent Yiyun Lin was selected to be one of three Altman Family Scholars. The Altman Family Scholarship was created in 2015 by Ken and Deena Altman—owners of Altman Plants—as one of numerous efforts supported by the couple to improve education and research for the industry. Ken Altman has been actively involved in AFE’s Education and Scholarship Committees, and has served on the AFE Board for more than a decade, currently in an Emeritus status.

This year, the Altman Fund is supporting three graduate students currently enrolled in masters programs at leading institutions. Like Mary Lewis, all three not only are already engaged in meaningful research but demonstrate qualities of leadership and commitment to the industry, along with excellent communication skills.

Read more on the American Floral Endowment website.

Lin awarded Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship

May 2019

Yiyun’s project, “Characterizing the role of Autophagy Gene 6 (ATG6) in petunia flower senescence using CRISPR-Cas9″ has been funded by the Alumni Grants for Graduate Research and Scholarship (AGGRS).  Congratulations!

South attends Teaching Conferences

May 2019

On May 2nd, Kaylee South attended the OSU Academy of Teaching’s Conference on Excellence in Teaching & Learning. The theme, Embracing Time and Change addressed changes to curriculum to support learning for students from various backgrounds. On May 16th, Kaylee continued to learn of new teaching practices and technology when she attended the InnovateX conference hosted by the OSU Office of Distance Education and eLearning. The conference speakers and discussion sessions covered topics from designing online classes to organizing and creating resources for classes with high-enrollment.

Students present research at the College Annual Research Conference

April 22, 2019

Kaylee South, Nathan Nordstedt, and Yiyun Lin all presented research posters at the College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Annual Research Conference held in Columbus.  Yiyun’s poster, “Functional analysis of nutrient mobilization-related genes in petunia flower senescence,” was awarded first place in the Doctorate category for the poster competition.

Nordstedt receives Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Award

April 12, 2019

PhD candidate, Nathan Nordstedt, was awarded the Outstanding Graduate/Profession Student Leadership Award from the Office of Student Life. This award is among the highest honors conferred to graduate and professional students.  This award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions in leadership and service outside their academic program. Awardees must also demonstrate the ability to balance scholarship with their leadership and involved.  Congratulations Nathan on this high honor.

High School students hear about careers in science

April 2019

Yiyun Lin and Nathan Nordstedt were invited to give a lecture about careers in biotechnology at the STEM program in Akron Public High School.  This event allowed them to help guide high school students interested in pursuing a career in the science fields.

OSU graduate students presented research at the National Floriculture Forum

April 1, 2019

Kaylee South, Nathan Nordstedt, and Yiyun Lin presented their research at the National Floriculture Forum (NFF) in Chicago.  They are each PhD candidates in the D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Crop Improvement Laboratory, led by Dr. Michelle Jones.  Lin shared about her experience at NFF in an article for the American Floral Endowment Bulletin Newsletter, March 2019 issue.

PhD candidates present research at the OSU Plant Science Symposium

March 30, 2019

Yiyun Lin, Nathan Nordstedt, and Kaylee South presented their research at the second OSU Plant Science Symposium: “Enhancing Plant Science through Technology, Communication, and Innovation.”

Nordstedt and Lin present research at ASPB Midwest Regional Meeting

March 16, 2019

Nathan Nordstedt and Yiyun Lin gave oral presentations at the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) Midwest Regional Meeting in Morgantown, WV.  The two-day meeting provided an environment to network and learn from fellow plant scientists along different career paths.  Nathan, who was awarded a travel grant to attend this meeting, presented on “Pseudomonas spp. enhance plant growth under multiple abiotic stresses.”  Lin’s presentation was titled “Functional characterization of nutrient mobilization-related genes in petunia petal senescence.”

South Presenet at the Tri-State Green Industry Conference

February 7, 2019

Kaylee South and a fellow graduate student traveled to Cincinnati, OH to give an extension presentation at the 2019 Tri-State Green Industry Conference titled “Diseases of Greenhouse Floral Crops and Their Management”. This conference was hosted by many organizations from Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana to provide educational sessions to those involved in the green industry from annual and perennial production to turfgrass management.

Research by Dr. Jones and South published in Greenhouse Grower

January 2019

Dr. Jones and Kaylee South wrote an article titled “Water Phalaenopsis Orchids With Ice Cubes: Myth or Fact?” discussing the research done in the lab with ice cube irrigation of Phalaenopsis orchids. The article was published in Greenhouse Grower and can be found here.

Nordstedt featured in Greenhouse Management Magazine’s ‘2019 Greenhouse Greats’ edition

January 2019

Nordstedt was featured in Greenhouse Magazine’s ‘2019 Greenhouse Greats’ edition.  “By now, at age 25, the PhD student in floriculture crop improvement at The Ohio State University has seen his share of the inner-workings of the horticulture industry and is committed to contributing his own increasing knowledge and expertise to move the industry forward.”  The complete article can be found here.

Nordstedt awarded at HCS Symposium

October 12, 2018

The 12th annual OSU Horticulture and Crop Science Graduate Research Symposium took place on Oct 11-12, 2018.  During the symposium, graduate students presented their research through Oral or Poster presentations.  Nathan Nordstedt, PhD student with Dr. Michelle Jones, was awarded second place for his research presentation.

OSU Floriculture Graduate Students take first and second place in the ASHS Floriculture Graduate Student Presentation Competition

August 3, 2018


Two Ph.D. students from the D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Crop Improvement Program had the opportunity to present their research at the American Society for Horticultural Science’s annual conference in Washington D.C. in July.  Nathan Nordstedt won second place in the Floriculture Graduate Student Presentation Competition for his seminar entitled “Identification of Plant Growth-Promoting Rhizobacteria with the Ability to Alleviate Drought Stress in Floriculture Crops”.  Kaylee South won first place for her presentation “An in Vitro Study Identifies Possible Bacteria Candidates for Botrytis cinerea Biocontrol”.  Congratulations to Kaylee and Nathan.


Yiyun Lin awarded at Annual CFAES Research Conference

April 27, 2018


Yiyun Lin was awarded first place in the Ph.D. category for her poster presentation.  Lin presented research titled “Evaluating the Efficacy of Biostimulant Products in Greenhouse Floriculture Crop Production.”

PhD student, Nathan Nordstedt, wins scholarship from the American Floral Endowment

April 10, 2018


Horticulture and Crop Science PhD student, Nathan Nordstedt, was awarded this year’s Altman Family Scholarship from the American Floral Endowment. The Altman Family Scholarship awards two students an award of $5,000 for one year.

For the complete story please visit the AFE article.


HCS Graduate Students create winning video for the #FlowerLoveVideoContest

January 30, 2018


Nathan Nordstedt and Jaclyn Fiola, graduate students of Horticulture and Crop Science at The Ohio State University, created a video promoting the use of and gifting of fresh flowers.

Some comments from Nathan on this experience:

Jaclyn Fiola and I recently won a grand prize for our video promoting the gift of flowers for the American Floral Endowment’s ‘Flower Love Video Contest.’ Last year Jaclyn and I were part of a class project that produced an educational video showcasing research at OARDC. When the announcement for the video contest was released, I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to combine our creative and technical skills again. The point of the video contest was to create a library for floriculture industry members to have access to for their own promotional purposes. Therefore, I had the idea of creating a video showcasing the variety of occasions that you can give flowers for, and the happiness these gifts provide.

For the video, we called upon several graduate students within the college to receive a bouquet of flowers and give us their best candid reaction. Some of the scenes portrayed special occasions like birthdays and graduation, and some of them were ‘just because.’ Once all of the footage was collected, Jaclyn’s expertise in video editing was put to use, and we both worked to make the edits for our final product. We would like to thank graduate students in Horticulture and Crop Science (Yiyun Lin, Eduardo Bernal, Kaylee South, Susie Walden and Andrea Leiva Soto), Entomology graduate student Ashley Yates, and everyone who voted throughout the contest by helping us to ‘Let Happiness Bloom!’

The contest was launched by the American Floral Endowment (AFE), sponsored by Asocolflores and funded through the Floral Marketing Research Fund.  Over 50 videos were submitted and are stored in the new AFE Flower Video Library.  Congratulations to Nathan and Jaclyn for being awarded the Grand Prize.  See more videos at

Nordstedt awarded scholarship through the Horticulture Research Institute

December 2017


Nathan Nordstedt, Ph.D. student for Dr. Michelle Jones at OSU/HCS, was awarded the Bryan A. Champion Scholarship through the Horticulture Research Institue (HRI).

Research conducted by HCS Graduate Student featured in HortScience

October 2017


Research conducted by Kaylee South, Ph.D. student with Dr. Michelle Jones at Ohio State University Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, and researchers from University of Georgia was featured on the September 2017 cover for HortScience, a publication of the American Society for Horticultural Science.  The article, Ice Cube Irrigation of Potted Phalaenopsis Orchids in Bark Media Does Not Decrease Display Life, is available via open access: HortScience 52:1271-1277.


HCS Graduate Students awarded for research presentations

Oct 13, 2017


Graduate Students in Horticulture and Crop Science coordinated the 11th annual research retreat where students were judged on their presentations.  Among the awarded presenters are students from Dr. Michelle Jones’ Lab.  Nathan Nordstedt was awarded for his presentation of his Ph.D. research project, and Yiyun Lin was presented an award for the proposal presentation of her Ph.D. project.

Nathan Nordstedt wins Richard T. Meister Scholarship

July 27, 2017


Horticulture and Crop Science graduate student, Nathan Nordstedt, was awarded the Richard T. Meister Scholarship from the American Floral Endowment.  The scholarship is for $3,900.  Nathan is pursuing his Ph.D. with Dr. Michelle Jones.

To read more about this award, view the full article with the American Floral Endowment.

Nathan also authored an article to encourage the Floriculture industry to offer young people new opportunities.  This article was published in Greenhouse Grower and can be viewed here.

Ph.D. Student Kaylee South wins 2017 Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship

April 20, 2017


HCS student, Kaylee South, was awarded the 2017 Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship, a $10,000 scholarship through the American Floral Endowment.  Kaylee is pursuing her Ph.D. with Dr. Michelle Jones.

To learn more about Kaylee’s award, read the full article at the American Floral Endowment.