Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences Graduate Program

Research Showcase

The TPSS Program graduate faculty participates in a diverse field of research pertaining to tropical plants and soil sciences. Here is a current list of research that our talented research faculty is currently involved with.



Research Title


Graduate Faculty


Breeding aroids and orchids for quality, productivity, and disease/pest resistance with emphasis on anthurium and dendrobium


Amore, Teresita


Sustaining the expansion of cacao, coffee and kava production in Hawai‘i


Bittenbender, H C


Improving soil nutrient management through the integrated use of web-based mobile technology and rapid soil testing


Deenik, Jonathan


Light environment management of tropical crops


Kobayashi, Kent D


Development of improved ornamental plant varieties for the advancement of Hawaii's floral


Leonhardt, Kenneth W


Exotic Banana and Papaya Germplasm: New Blood for Old Crops


Manshardt, Richard M


Integrated management systems for tropical root crops


Miyasaka, Susan C.


Improving nitrogen use efficiency in sustainable agriculture with focus on local organic nitrogen sources

Beneficial reuse of residuals and reclaimed water: impact on soil ecosytem and human health


Nguyen, Hue V


Development of bioenergy crops and production systems for Hawaii

Improving quality and reducing losses in specialty fruit crops through storage technologies

Postharvest physiology of fresh hawaiian commodities


Paull, Robert E


Germplasm selection and management to optimize vegetable quality and yield in tropical, organic production systems

Reducing Pacific Island Growers’ Reliance on Off-Island Fertilizer Sources through Efficient Use of Local Inputs.


Radovich, Theodore


Assessing gene flow potential between commercial and endemic Hawaiian cotton, Gossypium spp.


Wieczorek, Anna


Improving nutrient management to increase productivity, economic viability, and environmental health


Yost, Russell S.



TPSS Student Organic Farming Training (SOFT) is a diverse group of undergraduate and graduate students who share common interests in growing food sustainably and having fun. SOFT was initiated in 2007 and the SOFT Student Farm began in the spring of 2008 with a handful of students and faculty dedicated to creating a place for student exploration and leadership in agriculture. Since then, the farm has flourished, producing wonderful things to eat and a great community of lively students.



Every year, graduate students are elected for the TPSS Graduate Student Oganization (GSO). For the 2015 - 2016 school year, the TPSS GSO officers are:

  • Kauahi Perez - President
  • Tia Silvasy - Vice President
  • Greg Hoover ​- Secretary​
  • Aimee Uyehara - Treasurer​

The TPSS GSO strives to enrich the graduate student experience in our department by orchestrating social events and activities. The goal of these events is not only to provide camaraderie among students outside of the classroom and laboratory, but also to bring the entire department together, including faculty and staff, for informal events.

Annual Waffle Party

Before the start of the Fall semester, Dr. Ania Wieczorek, the TPSS Graduate Program Chairman, hosts a waffle breakfast for the TPSS graduate department to introduce incoming new graduate students and faculty members. It's a time to sit, eat and get to know new and old faces. And enjoy delicious waffles made by the graduate program chairman!