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Jennifer Boldt

Research Horticulturist


Jennifer Boldt, Ph.D.  

Mailing address: 2801 W. Bancroft St. Mail Stop 604, Toledo, OH 43606 

Physical address: 4277A Wolfe Hall, University of Toledo 

(330) 439-8776 


The Application Technology Research Unit focuses on sustainable production and pest management practices for horticulture crops grown in controlled environments, under the guidance of ARS National Program 305 – Crop Production.  Specifically, my research looks at how cultural and environmental factors can be adjusted to improve crop yield, crop quality, and/or resource use efficiency.  Current areas of interest include 1) modeling plant growth responses to light, temperature, and carbon dioxide; 2) co-leading Virtual Grower, a decision-support software program that lets users build a virtual greenhouse, estimate heating and lighting costs, and predict crop flowering responses to light and temperature; and 3) evaluating silicon as a beneficial element to reduce crop abiotic and biotic stress in soilless substrates.  My team works with ornamental and edible crops produced in greenhouses and indoor warehouses/vertical farms, including bedding plants, herbs, leafy greens, and strawberries. 


We currently collaborate with other university researchers on three federally-funded USDA-NIFA-Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) projects: 

  1. Lighting Approaches to Maximize Profits (LAMP) (Optimizing the cost-effectiveness of lighting in controlled environments, #2018-51181-28365, 2018-2024) 
  2. Optimizing Indoor Agriculture (OptimIA) (Improving the profitability and sustainability of indoor leafy-greens production, #2019-51181-30017, 2019-2024) 
  3. Strawberry Precise Indoor Propagation (Strawberry PIP-CAP SCRI) (Development and integration of next-generation propagation strategies to increase the resilience of the US strawberry supply chain, #2021-51181-35857, 2021-2025) 
  4. Controlled Environment Agriculture Herb Extension and Research Base (CEA HERB) (#2022-51181-38331; 2022-2026)


Research Experience 

2013 – 2017        GS-12, Research Horticulturist, USDA-ARS, Toledo, OH 

2017 – 2021        GS-13, Research Horticulturist, USDA-ARS, Toledo, OH 

2021 – present    GS-14, Research Horticulturist, USDA-ARS, Toledo, OH 



Educational Background 

2013     PhD, Applied Plant Sciences, University of Minnesota 

2008     MS, Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida 

2005     BS, Environmental Horticulture, University of Florida 

2005     BA, Business Administration, University of Florida