Elizabeth J. Mitcham, Ph.D.Elizabeth J. Mitcham, Ph.D.

Cooperative Extension Specialist and Pomologist
Director, Postharvest Technology Center
Director, Horticulture Innovation Lab

Graduate Group Memberships:

Horticulture and Agronomy Graduate Group
Food Science & Technology Graduate Group
International Agriculture Development (IAD) Graduate Group

fruitThe focus of my research and extension program is the postharvest biology and technology of fruits, especially apples, pears, cherries, strawberries, mangos, blueberries, and raspberries, as well as almonds and walnuts. In addition to studies on harvest maturity, storage conditions and flavor quality, my program focuses on regulation of fruit ripening in pears, and cellular regulation of calcium deficiency disorders in tomato and apple.

In addition, my program is actively developing strategies for postharvest insect control in harvested and exported commodities, including citrus and table grapes.

Current research goals:

  • Explore how pear fruit attain the capacity to ripen after harvest and when treated with 1-MCP, an ethylene action inhibitor.
  • Explore the effects of postharvest treatments to stimulate pear ripening capacity on fruit sensory quality, volatile content and cell wall composition.
  • Explore the development of calcium deficiency disorders at a cellular and molecular level as related to calcium homeostasis and plant growth regulator effects.
  • fruitDevelop a pre-shipment treatment for control of bean thrips, California red scale and Fuller rose beetle on navel oranges destined for Export markets.
  • Explore potential treatment options for control of light brown apple moths on harvested commodities as a preventative measure against possible spread of this quarantined pest within California.

Background on
Elizabeth J. Mitcham:

1990 - PhD - University of Maryland - Horticulture
1986 - MS - North Carolina State University - Horticulture
1984 - BS - University of Maryland - Horticulture
1981 - AA - Montgomery College, Maryland - Science/Math

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Postharvest Technology Center

Horticulture Innovation Lab