Perennial Systems Scientist
Address: 611 Siegfriedale Rd. Kutztown, PA
Leigh joined the research team in October 2022 as the perennial systems scientist to expand Rodale’s efforts in organic orchard and agroforestry systems.
To develop the perennial systems research program, Leigh is exploring fruit and nut species that can be grown in low-input systems that maximize ecosystem health and economic benefits for farmers. She is establishing applied trails that investigate production and management techniques for organic fruit and nut production. Much of her research efforts focus on identifying new and emerging perennial crops that are horticulturally suitable for organic production in different environments. She is developing resources to facilitate the adoption of perennial species while working to quantify the climate-smart benefits of these crops.
Leigh earned her B.S. in Agricultural Sciences at Cornell University with a concentration in sustainable agriculture. She completed her M.S. degrees at the University of California Davis in the International Agricultural Development and Horticulture & Agronomy departments. She moved to the University of Florida for a Ph.D. in Horticultural Sciences focused on citrus tree physiology.