Geoffrey Meru is an asistant professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. He specializes in vegetable breeding, genetics and genomics. Dr. Meru’s team will collaborate with the universities of Puerto Rico and Georgia, on the grant named “Specialty Pumpkin: Laying the Groundwork for an Emerging Crop and Lucrative Products.”
The project will examine genetic variation of cultivars for calabaza components such as yield, flesh quality, pumpkin shape and size, rind thickness and seeds for use as product ingredients. They will also examine pest resistance in search of resilient cultivars.