01 March 2021
New recruit at WSU’s potato research group
WASHINGTON State University has appointed Jake Blauer as its new post-harvest potato physiologist.
Jake grew up on a farm and has a wealth of experience in variety development.
Having formerly worked in the potato processing sector, he said this, combined with a knowledge of global hunger challenges, and a desire to improve potato storage, distribution, and quality measures, prompted him to pursue a doctoral degree in Molecular Plant Science at WSU, with potato physiologist Rick Knowles as his mentor.
Rick retired last year and Jake has now stepped into his shoes.
With a background in variety development, Jake intends to continue to clarify the genetic mechanisms associated with postharvest physiology and storability.
At WSU, Jake will conduct both in-field and postharvest studies to understand the full picture and to explain how choices during crop production will have significant impacts months later in storage.
He will work closely with the Northwest Potato Variety Development team, a multi-institution group of researchers that strive to develop new varieties for both processing (French fries, hash browns, and more) as well as fresh pack varieties best for baking.
Source and photo: Washington State University