conevaElina Coneva

Professor

horticulture department

degrees earned

2001

Ph.D., Plant Breeding, Agricultural University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

1984

B.S., Agronomy, Agricultural University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2016 – present

Extension Specialist and Professor, Fruit Crops, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University, August

2011 – 2016

Extension Specialist and Associate Professor, Fruit Crops, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University

2006 – 2011

Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Fruit Crops, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University

2004 – 2006

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, ON, Canada

2002 – 2004

Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, ON, Canada

June, 2001 – October, 2001

Research Associate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Center, St. Catharines, ON, Canada

1988 – 2000

Research Scientist, Agricultural Academy, Apricot Research Station, Silistra, Bulgaria

1985 – 1988

Agronomist – Specialist, Elite Seeds and Nursery Stock State Company, Silistra, Bulgaria

1984-1985

Agronomist – Specialist, Agricultural Cooperative Drustar, Silistra, Bulgaria


HONORS AND AWARDS

2016 – 2019

AU College of Ag Office of Global Programs International Travel Awards

2015

National Award for the Experiment Station Section Excellence in Multistate Research

July 12-16, 2015

Regional Winner, Applied Research Poster Award at the Annual Conference of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, Sioux Falls, SD

July 12-16, 2015

Certificate of Achievement for a Research Paper, Horticulture Section of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Conference, Sioux Falls, SD

June 15, 2015

2015 Alabama Association of County Agricultural Agents and Specialist Professional Improvement First Place Poster Award, and Overall Best Poster Award for Applied Research and Extension, Auburn, AL,

February 1, 2015

2014 Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science Henry M. Covington Extension Award

Dec, 2014

2014 Auburn University College of Agriculture’s Dean Award for Excellence in Extension and Outreach

March 20, 2013

2013 Friends of Southern IPM Pulling Together Award for Contributions to the Alabama IPM Communicator Newsletter, Southern IPM Center

July 17, 2012

The National Association of County Agricultural Agents Achievement Award in Recognition of Excellence in Extension Service Educational Programs

June 2012

The Alabama Association of County Agricultural Agents and Specialists Achievement Award, Alabama Association of County Agricultural Agents and Specialists, Outreach/Extension

2002-2004

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Post Doctoral Fellowship, Canada


PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

2007-present

Alabama Wineries and Grape Growers Association, Educational Advisor

2006 – present

Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Educational Advisor

2006-2012

Alabama Farmers Federation, State Horticultural Committee, Educational Advisor

2010 – present

American Pomological Society, Member

2010 – present

North American Strawberry Growers Association, Member

2009-present

Alabama Association of County Agricultural Agents, Member

2009 – present

North American Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Association, Member

2008 – present

International Society of Horticultural Science, Member

2007 – present

International Tree Fruit Association, Member

2007 – present

American Society for Horticultural Science, Member

2006 – present

American Association of University Professors, Member

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

My research program at Auburn focuses on investigating the potential of alternative or underutilized fruit crops in Alabama that are disease resistant, adaptable to the hot and humid environment, and possess superior biological characteristics. Alabama is unique in that its fruit commodities are marketed almost exclusively through local outlets. My program is designed to evaluate different varieties of traditional fruit crops as well as newly developed selections to assess suitability for this market culture. Along with colleagues in related disciplines such as Plant Pathology, Entomology, Soil Science, Biosystems Engineering, Postharvest Physiology, a series of experiments are being conducted to evaluate the performance of various tree fruit and small fruit crops in the state and to determine the main fruit production constraints. New crops and advanced selections are introduced for testing in Alabama conditions. Improving economic and environmental sustainability through precision irrigation, new environmentally safe technologies for thinning peaches, innovative orchard training systems that improve production efficiency, are essential areas that my research program is design to address. The experimental results provided by my program demonstrate the economic advantages of growing better adapted fruit crops that are resistant to common pests in southeastern U.S. Studies in my lab led to identification and the scope of distribution of viruses affecting state’s blackberry production. Research done in my lab has identified a number of insect species that are effective vectors of a bacteria and identified insect pests that caused significant loses to fruit industry and especially to the blueberry crop in the southeastern U.S. Our improved understanding of crop/cultivar resistance to this pathogen/vector complex is going to provide information for proper cultivar selection, aid in developing of effective IPM strategies and contribute to reduced crop losses and sustainable industry.

EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

My Extension activities are based on interaction with other members of the Commercial Horticulture Team on projects that are designed to deliver horticulture based programs and support to our clientele throughout the state. Through the USDA-Southern Region SARE program, I conducted on-farm research on sustainable irrigation methods for alternative crop production. This project provided funding to organize and conduct two annual workshops during the course of the study, a field day for on-farm demonstrations, and provided educational fact sheets presenting project results and promoting sustainable cultural practices for the southeastern U.S. Newly generated knowledge aided the newly established blueberry industry in the Wiregrass region and entire southeast region to overcome considerable production constraints by applying a combination of proper irrigation scheduling and acid injection.
I am the Alabama lead investigator in a USDA-Specialty Crop Research Initiative funded project that developed an www.eXtension.com Community of Practice (CoP), focused on blueberry production and consumption. The “All about Blueberries” Community of Practice is adapting the best existing extension publications and developing new research-based extension recommendations related to blueberry production and consumption. The primary goal of the project is to increase blueberry production efficiency and consumption of blueberries nationwide. We are using a variety of approaches to develop project content including: video, audio podcasts, photo galleries, interactive-training modules, interactive diagrams, animation, and social networking tools (i.e. Facebook, Twitter and blogs). I maintain a close contact with blueberry producers and representatives of local farmers’ markets who serve on our advisory committee. I have assumed responsibilities as a leader for the “Blueberry Production” topic. Our multistate team launched the www.extension.org/blueberries website in 2010, which became a powerful one-stop-shop for blueberry production and consumption that benefits not only the producers, but also the nation.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

  • Coneva, E. 2019. Growth and development of Pierce’s disease tolerant hybrid bunch grapes in southeastern U.S. Acta Horticulturae (Accepted).
  • Svyantek, A.*, E. Coneva, J.R. Kessler, E. Vinson, and J. Pitts. 2019. Assessing the Effect of Selected PGRs on Yield, Fruit Quality and Morphology of `Fireprince´ Peaches. Acta Horticulturae (Accepted).
  • Vinson, Edgar L. III*, E.D. Coneva, J.M. Kemble, F.M. Woods, J.L. Sibley, E.G. Fonsah, P.M. Perkins-Veazie, and J.R. Kessler. 2018. Prediction of Flower Emergence and Evaluation of Cropping Potential in Selected Banana Cultivars (Musa sp.) Cultivated in Subtropical Conditions of Coastal Alabama. HortScience 53(11):1634–1639: https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI13290-18
  • Reighard, G.L., Bridges, W., Archbold, D., Atucha, A., Autio, W., Beckman, T., Black, B., Chavez, D., Coneva, E.**, Day, K., Kushad, M., Johnson, R.S., Lindstrom, T., Lordan, J., Minas, I., Ouellette, D., Parker, M.L., Pokharel, R., Robinson, TL., Schupp, J., Warmund, M. and Wolfe, D. 2018. Rootstock performance in the 2009 NC-140 peach trial across 11 states. Acta Hortic. 1228, 181-186 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1228.27 https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1228.27
  • Brantley, A.K.*, Spiers, J.D., Thompson*, A.B., Pitts, J.A., Kessler, J.R., Wright, A. and Coneva, E. 2018. Evaluating the length of time that kiwifruit flowers can be successfully pollinated. Acta Hortic. 1218, 139-142 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1218.18 https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1218.18
  • Potter, R.J.* and Coneva, E.D. 2018. Assessment of Newly Released and Well-Established Rabbiteye Blueberry (Vaccinium ashei Reade) Cultivars in North Alabama. Agricultural Sciences, 9, 78-98. https://doi.org/10.4236/as.2018.91007
  • Vinson III, E.L.*, Coneva, E.D., Kemble, J.M., Woods, F.M., Sibley, J.L., Perkins-Veazie, P.M. and Fonsah, E.G. 2017. Phenological parameter responses gauge banana fruit production potential in the coastal region of Alabama, USA. Acta Hortic. 1178, 61-66 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1178.11
  • Dipayan Sarkar, Widya Agustinaha, Floyd Woods, Elina Coneva, Edgar Vinson and Kalidas Shetty. 2017. In Vitro Screening and Evaluation of Phenolic Antioxidant-linked Anti-Hyperglycemic Functions of Rabbit-Eye Blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) Cultivars” Journal of Berry Research 7:163–177. DOI:10.3233/JBR-170154
  • Andrej W. Svyantek*, Elina D. Coneva, J. Raymond Kessler, James D. Spiers, Edgar L. Vinson III, and James Pitts. 2016. Exploring the Growth and Cropping Potential of Pierce’s Disease Resistant Vitis vinifera L. Selections for Enhanced Viticultural Sustainability in Alabama and the Southeast. Journal of the American Pomological Society 70(4): 224-227.
  • Elina D. Coneva. 2016. Growing Pierce’s Disease Resistant 87.5% V. vinifera Grapes in Alabama. Acta Hortic. 1115, 75-82. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1115.12 http://dx.doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1115.12
  • Edgar L. Vinson*, III, and Elina D. Coneva. 2015. Investigations on Phenological Responses to Determine Banana Fruit Production Potential in the Coastal Region of Alabama, USA. Journal of the American Pomological Society 69 (3):164-167.
  • Johnson, R.S., Reighard, G.L., Ouellette, D., Beckman, T.G., Coneva, E.D., Day, K.R., Fachinello, J., Robinson, T.L., Fallahi, E., Newell, M.J. and Wolfe, D. 2015. Environmental Effects on Fruit Ripening and Average Fruit Weight for Three Peach Cultivars. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 1084:453-458 http://www.actahort.org/books/1084/1084_62.htm
  • Reighard, G., Bridges, Jr., W., Archbold, D., Wolfe, D., Atucha, A., Pokharel, R., Autio, W., Beckman, T., Black, B., Lindstrom, T., Coneva, E., Day, K., Johnson, R.S., Kushad, M., Parker, M., Robinson, T., Schupp, J. and Warmund, M. 2015. NC-140 Peach Rootstock Testing in Thirteen U.S. States. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 1084:225-232 http://www.actahort.org/books/1084/1084_32.htm
  • A. W. Svyantek*, E. D. Coneva**, J. R. Kessler, J. D. Spiers, E. L. Vinson III, J. A. Pitts. Exploring the Growth and Cropping Potential of Pierce’s Disease Resistant Vitis vinifera L. Selections for Enhanced Viticultural Sustainability in Alabama and the Southeast. Journal of the American Pomological Society 70(4): 224-227.
  • Elina D. Coneva and Edgar L. Vinson*. 2014. Investigating Innovative Fruit Crop Production Systems for Local Markets. Auburn Speaks: On Food Systems. Auburn University: 81-85.
  • Richard Joel Potter*, Elina Coneva, Jeff Sibley, Fenny Dane, Jay Spiers and Kenneth Tilt. 2013. Land’s Prior Use Affects the Establishment and Productivity of Rabbiteye Blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) Cultivars. Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering A 2 (2013) 725-731.
  • Jessica R. Bowerman*, James D. Spiers, Eugene K. Blythe, Elina D. Coneva, Kenneth M. Tilt, and Donna A. Marshall. 2013. Cutting Type Affects Rooting Percentage of Vegetatively Propagated Sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum). Journal of Environmental Horticulture 31(4):253–258.
  • Michael R. Harrison*, James D. Spiers, Elina D. Coneva, Floyd M. Woods, J. Raymond Kessler, Jr., and William A. Dozier, Jr. 2013. Influence of Orchard Design on ‘Owari’ Satsuma Mandarin Citrus unshiu (Marcovitch) Fruit Quality, Physiology, and Productivity. Journal of the American Pomological Society 67(1):34-46.
  • Michael R. Harrison*, James Spiers, Elina Coneva, William Dozier and Floyd Woods. 2013. Orchard design influences fruit quality, canopy temperature, and yield of satsuma mandarin (Citrus unsui ‘Owari’). International Journal of Fruit Science 13(3): 334-344.
  • Bowerman, J.R.*, J.D. Spiers, E. Coneva, K.M. Tilt, E.K. Blythe, and D.A. Marshall. 2013. Propagation of sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboreum) improved via cutting type. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS) 1014:385-388.
  • Yilanna Hu*, Elina Coneva, Edgar Vinson, J. Raymond Kessler, Jr., Jay Spiers, and Joyce Ducar. 2012. Assessment of the Feasibility of Growing Pierce’s Disease Tolerant American and French-American Hybrid Bunch Grape Cultivars in Alabama. Journal of the American Pomological Society 66(4): 220-222.
  • Hummel, N., D. Attaway, E. Coneva, J. Braswell, W.O. Cline, D. Marshall, D.M. Ferrin, K.L. Machtmes, and H.J. Roy. 2012. Creating a Community of Practice for blueberries. International Journal of Fruit Science 12:350-359.
  • Hummel, N., D. Attaway, K.L. Machtmes, E. Coneva, Kimberly Morgan, William Cline. 2011. Collaborative Development of Nutrition Information for the All About Blueberries eXtension Community of Practice. Chinese Astronomy and Astrophysics. 43(4).
  • Ma*, X., E. Coneva, H. Fadamiro, J.F. Murphy, Charles Ray, and F. Dane. 2010. Seasonal occurrence and abundance of sharpshooter leafhoppers in Alabama Orchards and Vineyards. International Journal of Fruit Science 10:341-354.
  • Coneva, E., J. Murphy, R. Boozer, and N. Velasquez. 2010. Incidence and distribution of viruses in blackberry (Rubus sp.) in Alabama. International Journal of Fruit Science 10:87-95.
  • Coneva, E., J. Murphy, R. Boozer, and N. Velasquez. 2008. First report of Tobacco ringspot virus in Blackberry (Rubus sp.) in Alabama. Plant Disease 92: 1708.
  • Coneva, E., and J. Cline. 2006. Blossom thinners reduce crop load and increase fruit size and quality of peaches. HortScience 41:1253-1258.
  • Coneva, E., and J. Cline. 2006. Gibberellic acid inhibits flowering and reduces hand thinning of “Redhaven” peach. HortScience 41:1596-1601.