Not long after Washington State University successfully wooed Clemson University peach expert Desmond Layne, it added Stefano Musacchi, an internationally recognized leader in pomology from Italy.
"We just saw the hiring of Desmond Layne, a leader in the delivery of scientific information to producers through Extension,” Jake Gutzwiler, a cherry grower and quality control manager for Stemilt Growers, Wenatchee, Wash., said in the news release.
"With Stefano, we will have two strong leaders to keep research and extension coordinated to focus scientific collaborations on industry challenges.”
Gutzwiler also chairs the WSU Endowment Advisory Committee.
Musacchi will join the faculty in August 2013 as an endowed chair in tree fruit physiology/management, according to the release.
Washington apple and pear growers are assessing themselves to the tune of $27 million to expand tree fruit research and Extension.
Part of the money will be used to fund the endowed chair.
Musacchi is an assistant professor in the University of Bologna's Department of Fruit Tree and Wood Plant Sciences.
During the past 20 years, he has visited the Pacific Northwest several times as a consulting visiting scientist.
Musacchi runs intensive field- and lab-based programs, ranging from applied aspects of propagation, training systems and agronomic evaluations of rootstocks and cultivars to basic research on graft incompatibility.