Clemson’s Faust Receives Alex Laurie Award
The Society of American Florists (SAF) recently honored James Faust, professor of floriculture physiology at Clemson University, with the 2021 Alex Laurie Award, honoring an individual who has made broad-scope, long-lasting contributions to research or education in the floriculture industry.
Faust received the award on Sept. 23 during SAF Orlando 2021, the organization’s 136th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.
After graduating from Murray State University, Faust worked in a commercial greenhouse, where his very first job was growing 12 acres of poinsettias. The experience sparked a passion that’s continued for more than 30 years. Faust, who continued his formal education at Michigan State University, has studied the plant in its native home — Mexico — as well as at the Paul Ecke Ranch in California. At Clemson, he oversees an ongoing study on light and heat’s effects on poinsettias.
Faust’s research has been funded by the American Floral Endowment for many years and includes work on daily light integrals, developing protocols to prevent leaf necrosis on cut flowers, and biological control. Most recently, he has spent the past five years conducting practical research on botrytis at GR Chia SAS, one of the largest growers in Colombia.
Faust is also a founding member of the Floriculture Research Alliance, a collaboration across universities and organizations to develop science-based solutions for floriculture.
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