Kim E. Hummer was born in Washington, D.C., received her B.S. in Biology from St. Lawrence University in 1974, her M.S. from the University of Vermont in 1978, and her doctorate in Horticulture from Oregon State University in 1981. In 2009, she received an honorary doctorate in Agronomy from the Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, She was recognized as an honorary member of the Società di Ortoflorofrutticoltura Italiana (SOI) at Matera, Italy in 2013 and an honorary member of the International Society for Horticultural Science in 2018.
During her career, she has participated in more than 21 international/national plant collecting and exchange expeditions. She was selected as Specialty Crop Curator for the US Department of Agriculture, National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon, in 1987, and became Research Leader in 1989. She manages a genebank containing more than 13,000 plant and seed accessions. She collaborates with the Global Crop Diversity Trust on the development of Global Conservation Strategy for horticultural cops, including strawberries. She has published more than 230 articles, 12 books, and 23 book chapters.
Her curatorial assignment includes the conservation of fruit, nut, and specialty crop genetic resources. Her present research involves the study of cytology and genetics. She is actively studying the taxonomy, horticultural identity, and diversity of berry crops. Her most recent study examined the phylogeny of Rubus using target capture sequencing. Dr. Hummer has named a new strawberry species, released four plant cultivars and an advanced germplasm selection.
Dr. Hummer is an active member of the American Society of Horticultural Science, and was selected as an ASHS Fellow in 2006. She was the first woman president of the American Pomological Society (2004-2006). Dr. Hummer is also very active in the International Society for Horticultural Science, elected as the Vice President (2010-2014), Science Editor (2014-2018), and Officer for Financial Affairs (2018 – 2022). She is also the editor for Chronica Horticulturae, the ISHS quarterly newsletter for horticultural events.
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