Our team is excited to work with you!

Meet our Plant Growth Professionals

~$11.6MM in capital improvements
during FY22 and FY23

53 greenhouse compartments for
Research and Instruction

31 Conviron chambers.
16 held for flexible use.
9 supporting BSL-2 research.

100% Compartments with Cooling Systems
79% Compartments with
Supplemental Lighting

~7,500 sq-ft expansion for facilities by Georgia H.B. 81 Appropriation

58% of our chambers have dimmable LED lighting

The future location of the multi-disciplinary greenhouse will surround the recent cool-season greenhouse construction.
3D model visualization of Plant Growth Facilities new greenhouse.
CAES Multi-Disciplinary Greenhouse Addition
Plant Growth Facilities added approximately 8,000 square feet of greenhouse and support spaces tailored to agricultural and horticultural plant research at our Riverbend Greenhouse Complex. Construction began late-August '22 and was completed December '23. The facility features Wadsworth SEED environmental controllers, Adiabatic Cooling, Supplemental LED lighting, Automated-Irrigation Solenoids, Insect Exclusion, Sample Processing Spaces and more.
Pamela Lewis with student assistants Justin Cline and Ellen Jones.

 

2426 Growth Chamber Expansion

Our newest growth chamber facility was finished in November 2021. The area features 12 Conviron chambers, 5 of which are reservable for use by CAES programs. You can view time slots available for research and current reservations at our greenhouse and growth chamber reservation page.

 

Photos of the 2426 Growth Chamber Room Expansion

 

PGF Growth Chamber Availabilities

 


 

Get to know our plant growth professionals


Pamela Lewis with student assistants Justin Cline and Ellen Jones.

 

Graduation decor by PGF's Pam Lewis

Pamela Lewis has been cultivating flowers and plants for the CAES convocation ceremonies for a decade. Following the event, she carefully selects the best remaining plants and donates them to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the Athens area.

Poinsettias hold a special place in Lewis’ heart as her favorite horticultural crop. In their native habitat, these plants bloom in response to shorter day lengths. To ensure their proper growth during winter, we employ blackout tents to prevent light drift.


Mini Daniel Gershon - 1

 

Daniel Gershon

Daniel earned a B.S.A. in Horticulture from the University of Georgia in 1992. His decades of experience began when he was a student working at the UGA Trial Gardens. In 1998, he established Apple Cart Horticultural Services, Inc, a successful landscaping business. By 2010, he joined the Grounds Maintenance team at UGA where he supervised a crew for thirteen years. He enjoys family outings, plant propagation, restoring motorized vehicles and equipment, and giving tours of his cherished gardens.

Facility updates


Greenhouse M1 with the roof polycarbonate removed and the end wall replaced.

 

Greenhouse M1 thru M3 Polycarbonate Replacement

These greenhouses were built in 2008. Over time the polycarbonate has degraded from UV radiation. This impacts the quantity and spectral composition of the light transmitted through the polycarbonate panels to the plant leaves. CAES - Office of Teaching, CAES-Office of Research and Plant Growth Facilities are funding new paneling! Expected completion is early-June 2022.


South Milledge Greenhouses following the replacement of old polycarbonate panels.
Plant growth professionals working on the evaporative cooling pad update

 

Evaporative cooling pad update

Our facilities include 52 greenhouse compartments on three sites in Athens. Thirty-six percent of the compartments required almost 800 new cooling pads. Combining an order of this size allowed us to purchase with economies of scale. The savings were directed back into the cooling media by "double-dipping" many of the pads to extend their expected life from five years to an average of eight.


PGF's 1st Cool-Season Greenhouse

 

PGF's first cool-season greenhouse

Our facilities have expanded to include 600 square feet of cool-season greenhouse space to support Robin Buell's genomics research program. The greenhouse will be completed this May. These compartments will be a part of the larger multidisciplinary greenhouse expansion scheduled to begin construction in late-July 2022.

View Cool Season Greenhouse Photos


White Fly Grant

 

Whitefly grant

Thanks to a whitefly grant award, our entomology department's old greenhouse has been updated with supplemental lighting, area trench drains, insect-exclusion vestibules, new glazing and many other features. The greenhouse now has five compartments all capable of BSL-2 certification.

View Entomology Greenhouse Photos


Riverbend Soil Shed Update
Soil Shed 2 - 1

 

Riverbend soil shed update

We have removed an unused raw material bunk in our Riverbend soil shed to increase the amount of mixing and sterilizing space and increase the amount of palletized media that we can have on hand.


The Asian tiger mosquito has been recognized among the world's top 100 worst invaders according to the Global Invasive Species Database. It has an aggressive daytime human-biting behavior and can vector many viruses, including dengue fever and West Nile virus. CAES News
Help prevent the spread of dengue fever
As overnight temperatures increase during the summer, so do mosquito populations, bringing with them the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. In late June, the Centers for Disease Control warned that the U.S. is seeing an increased risk of dengue fever, a sometimes fatal viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. This disease has been across much of South and Central America and the Caribbean, and with about 1,500 cases, the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has declared a public health emergency over dengue.  
(L-R) Peggy Ozias-Akins and third-year Ph.D. student Yuji Ke working with Pennisetum (pearl millet) hybrids plants in the greenhouse. CAES News
The Plant Center: A nexus for plant research at UGA
The University of Georgia Plant Center is a collection of faculty and scientists from across multiple campuses who share common interests in plant science. From basic science in plant biology and genomics to highly applied projects in genetics and plant breeding, researchers run the gamut of plant-based research. More than 60 faculty are affiliated with the center, hailing from seven departments across four colleges and schools and three separate campuses in Athens, Tifton and Griffin.
"Palmetto bug" is a regional term used to describe several species of cockroaches, including the smokybrown cockroach (Periplaneta fuliginosa). CAES News
Is that a roach or a palmetto bug?
It’s summertime, and there are a few things residents of the Deep South can count on this time of year — heat, humidity and insects. Fireflies and cicadas are popular topics these days, but of all the creeping, crawling, buzzing creatures that bug us, one is met with near-universal revulsion — the cockroach. Whether you’re new to the South or a lifelong resident, you’ve likely run into one of the several species of cockroaches that are common in the region.