Welcome, New Faculty!
We are pleased to welcome Lisa Wasko DeVetter and Lee Kalcsits, who joined the department March 1.
Lisa Wasko DeVetter is an Assistant Professor and Small Fruit Horticulturist at the WSU Northwest Research and Extension Center (NWREC) in Mt. Vernon. Originally from Iowa, Wasko DeVetter found her passion for fruit crops while completing her BS in biology and horticulture at Iowa State University (ISU). She continued studying at ISU and received her MS in both horticulture and soil science. She completed her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where her PhD research focused on understanding how genetic, physiological, and environmental variables influence cranberry yield. Beyond fruit crops, Wasko DeVetter has interests in the human-horticulture interface and has had valuable experience conducting human research with Iowa fruit and vegetable growers, as well as with children participating in a school garden program based in Uganda.
As a member of the small fruits team at the NWREC, Wasko DeVetter will develop a research and extension program focused on the sustainable cultivation of red raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, and other berry crops. Her interests also extend into whole-plant physiology of berry crops, which she plans to continue researching within her program.
Lee Kalcsits is an Assistant Professor in Tree Fruit Physiology at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee. Kalcsits grew up on a small fruit farm in Saskatchewan, Canada where his interest in horticulture started. He received a BS in agriculture and an MS in tree ecophysiology from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2013, he completed his PhD in tree ecophysiology from the University of British Columbia, where his research looked at how nitrogen isotope values in plants can integrate nitrogen movement in woody plants. He recently completed postdoctoral research at the University of Victoria studying the interactions between nitrogen source preference and temperature in forest tree species.