BLACKSBURG, Va., June 22, 2010 – Richard Veilleux, professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been named the Julian H. Gary and Margaret S. Gary Professor in Horticulture by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The Julian H. Gary and Margaret S. Gary Professorship in Horticulture was established with a gift from Margaret Savage Gary. An avid gardener, Margaret Gary wanted her gift to support an area of lifelong interest she shared with her husband and to honor her nephew, Stuart Johnson, who is an alumnus of Virginia Tech. Recipients hold the professorship for a period of five years.
A member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty since 1981, Veilleux has made numerous contributions to the genetic improvement of crops. His haploid breeding lines of potatoes are used in many breeding programs. The impact of his research is amplified by the work of his master's and doctoral graduates in research laboratories around the world. Veilleux is also active in the teaching program, with responsibility for three graduate courses in horticulture. He is also a frequent guest lecturer in the undergraduate program.
Veilleux has collaborated with the International Strawberry Genome Sequencing Consortium and the International Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium to develop the first sequenced genomes for both the Rosaceae and Solanaceae families. These sequenced genomes will serve as roadmaps for the future improvement of fruit and potato crops.
Veilleux received his bachelor's degree from Tufts University, his master's degree from the University of British Columbia, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, numerous book chapters and other publications.